Dental Dictionary

The following dictionary has been uploaded for you the visitor help understand any foreign medical terminologies that you might have been faced with by a dentist after a dental consultation.

Abrasion

Removal of tooth structure due to rubbing and scraping (e.g. incorrect brushing method)

Abscess

A collection of pus. Usually forms because of infection.

Amalgam

A silver filling material.

Anesthetic

An agent that causes temporary loss of sensation/feeling.

Anterior

The front position.

Apex

The end of the root.

Attrition

Wear of teeth due to activities such as chewing.

Bitewing

A kind of dental x-ray which is taken with the teeth bite together. The main function of this kind of x-ray is to detect cavity in between teeth and height of bone support.

Bleaching

Whitening of teeth.

Bridge

A set of crowns fixed inside the mouth in order to replace more than one cracked or missing teeth.

Bruxism

Teeth grinding.

Canine

The third tooth from the middle of the jaw. There are totally 4 of them. They are the longest teeth in human.

Canker sore

An ulceration with yellow base and red border in mouth. It can be caused by trauma or herpes simplex virus.

Caries

Tooth decay.

Cavity

A hole on the tooth.

Cast

A model of teeth.

Cementation

The process of "glue" the appliance on the associated area.

Chlorhexidine

An anti-microbial agent. It is available in many forms such as gels and rinses. It is an effective agent in controlling gum diseases.

Clasp

A metal arm extends from a removable partial denture. It helps to hold on to natural tooth structure and thus provide anchorage for the denture.

Cold sore

An ulcer or blister on lip. A form of herpes simplex.

Composite

White filling.

Cross-bite

An abnormal bite relationship of upper and lower jaw. The lower teeth/tooth align toward the check/ lip side more than the upper teeth/tooth.

Crown (porcelain/plastic/metal)

A crown is almost like a "cap" on a tooth. It covers the tooth partially or totally above the gum to restore its function and outlook.

Decay

The rotten part of the tooth.

Dentition

The position, type, and number of teeth in upper and lower jaw.

Denture (Immediate/complete/partial) (overdenture, temporary)

An artificial object to replace missing teeth and their neighboring structures. There are many different types of denture to satisfy different treatment requirements and patient preferences.

Denturist

The person who specializes in fabricating dentures. Denturist is not responsible for making any type of diagnosis or carrying out any other treatment (e.g. Removing teeth).

Desensitization

A procedure to reduce the sensitivity of teeth.

Diastema

The space in between two adjacent teeth.

Endodontics

A department of dentistry involves diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental pulp (where the nerves and blood vessels inside the tooth).

Eruption

The process of the tooth appearing in the mouth.

Excision

The action of cutting something off.

Filling

A restoration places on a tooth to restore its function and appearance.

Floss

A thread/tape goes in between teeth for cleaning.

Fluoride

A compound of fluorine (an element) which be put in different forms such as water, gels, rinses to strengthen up teeth.

Fluoride Treatment

Teeth treat with fluoride agents like gel or rinse. It helps to prevent tooth decay.

Gingivitis

The mildest form of gum disease: inflammation of gum. The earliest sign is bleeding gum.

Impaction

A condition that a tooth is not able to come in normally or stuck underneath another tooth or bone.

Implant

A device (usually "screw-like") put in the jaw bone to support a false tooth, a denture or a bridge.

Impression

A mold taken by some jelly-like material loaded on a tray.

Incisal

The cutting edge of front teeth.

Incisor

The four upper and lower front teeth.

Inlay

A restoration (usually is gold, composite or ceremics) fabricated in the lab cements on tooth like a missing puzzle. It helps to restore the normal function and outlook of the tooth.

Interproximal

The space in between two adjacent teeth.

Lingual

The side of the tooth towards the tongue.

Mesial

The side of the tooth towards the middle of the jaw.

Molar

The last 3 upper and lower teeth on both side of the mouth.

Mouthguard

A device to be worn in the mouth. Depends on the design of it, it prevents injury on teeth and/or jaw during teeth grinding or sport events.

Nightguard

A mouthgard which is worn at night time.

Occlusal

The biting surface of the back teeth.

Occlusion

The way how the upper and lower teeth close together.

Onlay

A restoration covers the entire biting surface of a tooth.

Open bite

The situation that the upper teeth not able to contact the opposing lower teeth.

Orthodontics

A special field in dentistry which involves diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of bite abnormalities or facial irregularities.

Overbite

The overlap of upper teeth and lower teeth when they close together.

Palate

The roof of the mouth.

Panoramic Radiograph

An x-ray film to obtain the wide view of upper and lower jaw and their associated structures.

Perforation

An opening on a tooth or other oral structure.

Periapical

The surrounding of the bottom of the root of a tooth.

Periodontics

A specialty of dentistry involves diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of supporting unit of teeth.

Permanent teeth

Adult's teeth. The first permanent tooth usually comes in around 6 years old.

Pin

A piece of "nail-like" metal. It usually is used for better retention of a filling.

Polish

A process to make the tooth or filling or other denture smooth and glossy.

Pontic

The false tooth in a bridge or denture to replace the missing tooth.

Post

A pin which can be made with different materials such as metal or carbon. Its function usually is to support a big buildup on a tooth.

Posterior

Locate at the back.

Pre-medication

Medication needs to be taken before treatment.

Premolar

The two teeth located in front of the molar

Primary teeth

Baby teeth.

Prophylaxis/prophy

The procedure of teeth polishing. It also means the prevention of diseases.

Prosthesis

An artificial part to replace missing teeth and their associated structures.

Prosthodontics

A specialty of dentistry involves diagnosis, treatment planning, and fabrication of artificial parts to replace missing teeth and their associated structures.

Pulp

The inner most part of a tooth. It contains nerves and blood vessels inside a tooth.

Pulpectomy

The removal of the whole pulp inside a tooth.

Pulpotomy

The removal of the top part of the pulp inside a tooth.

Radiograph

An x-ray picture.

Restoration

An item a dentist uses to restore the normal function of a tooth or an area in the mouth. It can be a filling, crown, bridge, etc.

Retainer

A device used for maintaining the position of teeth in the jaw in orthodontic treatment.

Root

The bottom part of tooth. It anchors the tooth to its supporting units.

Root canal

The canal that runs inside the root of the tooth. It contains the nerves and blood vessels inside the tooth.

Root canal treatment

A treatment for the root canal inside the tooth.

Root planing

The action of cleaning on the root area of teeth.

Scaling

The action of cleaning of teeth below the gumline.

Sealant

A thin layer of plastic-like material covers the grooves and pits on a tooth to prevent cavity.

Sedation

The use of medication to calm down a patient.

Space Maintainer

An appliance to maintain the space in between teeth.

Splint

An appliance or a material to prevent movement of a mobile part.

Torus

An outgrowth on bone. It usually develops on the roof of the mouth or around the premolar area in the lower jaw.

Veneer

A layer of tooth-colored material (can be porcelain, composite, or ceramics) attaches to the front of the tooth. It is usually for better outlook of the tooth.

Wisdom tooth

The eighth (also the last tooth) tooth from the middle of the jaw.