Dental Terms Explained

By: | Tags: | Comments: 0 | June 4th, 2016

Here is a short glossary of the most common dental terms used that you might hear when talking to your dentist or support staff.

  • Abscess: An infection of a bone, tooth or soft tissue.
  • Apex: A tooth’s tip of the root.
  • Attrition: Natural wear and tearing leading to a loss of tooth’s structure
  • Biopsy: The process of removing a small piece of tissue for the purpose of micro examination.
  • Bruxism: Gnashing or grinding of the teeth, commonly found in patients while asleep.
  • Caries: Tooth decay or cavities.
  • Carcinogenic: Cancer-causing.
  • Cariogenic: Decay-causing
  • Geriatric dentist: A general dentist who mainly treats senior citizens.
  • Third Molars: Wisdom teeth.
  • Occlusal surface: The tooth’s chewing surface
  • Calculus: Calcium-like, hard deposits that form on teeth as a result of improper plaque control, stained often brown or yellow. It is also called as tartar
  • Cap: Commonly used term for a dental crown.
  • Cuspids: The third tooth from the mouth’s centre to the back that have one pointed or rounded edge used for biting. They are also known as canines.
  • Demineralization: A white area on the tooth’s surface which is the result of mineral loss from the tooth’s enamel, just beneath the surface in a carious lesion.
  • Dentin: Tooth structure’s inner layer, immediately below the enamel’s surface.
  • Extraction: a tooth’s removal
  • Nerve: A tissue that transmits temperature, sensation, and information to the brain.
  • Dental Implant: A dental implant is a cylinder made of titanium that is surgically placed in the upper or lower haw’s bone to provide cornerstone for a dental appliance or restoration. Whether you have lost one or more teeth as a result of an accident or decay, dental implants can rescue your smile with natural looking replacements.
  • Diastema: A space between the teeth.
  • Eruption: The protruding of teeth through the gums.
  • Edentulous: Loss of most or all natural teeth

These are some terms you should keep in mind to make talking to your dentist easier and more understandable.