Abutment: A tooth (or implant) that supports a dental prosthesis.
Anesthesia–General Anesthesia: A controlled state of unconsciousness, accompanied by a partial or complete loss of protective reflexes, including loss of ability to independently maintain the airway and respond purposefully to physical stimulation or verbal command, produced by a pharmacologic or non-pharmacologic method or combination thereof.
Local Anesthesia: The loss of pain sensation over a specific area of the anatomy without loss of consciousness.
Apicoectomy: Surgical removal of the tip of the root.
Bicuspid: A premolar tooth; a tooth with two cusps.
Bilateral: Occurring on, or pertaining to, both right and left sides.
Biopsy: Process of removing tissue for histologic evaluation.
Bleaching: A cosmetic dental procedure that whitens the teeth using a bleaching solution.
Calculus: Hard deposit of mineralized material adhering to crowns and/or roots of teeth.
Caries: Commonly used term for tooth decay.
Cementum: Hard connective tissue covering the tooth root.
Cusp: The pointed portion of the tooth.
Decay: The layman term for carious lesions in a tooth; decomposition of tooth structure.
Dental Prophylaxis: Scaling and polishing procedure performed to remove coronal plaque, calculus, and stains.
Dental Prosthesis: An artificial replacement of one or more missing teeth.
Dentin: The part of the tooth that is beneath the enamel and cementum.
Denture: An artificial substitute for natural teeth and adjacent tissues.
Denture Base: The part of the denture that holds the artificial teeth and fits over the gums.
Direct Restoration: A restoration fabricated inside the mouth.
Dry Mouth: The condition of not having enough saliva to keep the mouth wet. If it goes untreated, severe dry mouth can lead to increased levels of tooth decay and infections of the mouth.
Enamel: Hard calcified tissue covering dentin of the crown of a tooth.
Erosion: Wearing down of tooth structure, caused by chemicals (acids).
Excision: Surgical removal of bone or tissue.
Extraction: The process or act of removing a tooth or tooth parts.
Amalgam: Silver filling.
Fixed Appliances: Orthodontic devices, commonly known as braces, that are bonded to the teeth to produce different tooth movements to help reposition teeth for orthodontic therapy.
Fracture: The breaking of a part, especially of a bony structure; breaking of a tooth.
Full-Mouth X-Rays: A combination of 14 or more periapical and 4 bitewing films of the back teeth. This series of x-rays reveals all the teeth (their crowns and roots) and the alveolar bone around them.
Gingiva: Soft tissues overlying the crowns of unerupted teeth and encircling the necks of those that have erupted.
Gingivitis; Inflammation of gingival tissue without loss of connective tissue.
Graft: A piece of tissue or alloplastic material placed in contact with tissue to repair a defect or supplement a deficiency.
Immediate Denture: Prosthesis constructed for placement immediately after the removal of remaining natural teeth.
Impacted Tooth: An unerupted or partially erupted tooth that is positioned against another tooth, bone, or soft tissue, so that complete eruption is unlikely.
Interproximal: Between the teeth.
Intraoral: Inside the mouth.
Jaw: A common name for either the maxilla or the mandible.
Lesion: An injury or wound; area of diseased tissue.
Malignant: Having the properties of dysplasia, invasion, and metastasis.
Malocclusion: Improper alignment of biting or chewing surfaces of upper and lower teeth.
Maxilla: The upper jaw.
Molar: Teeth posterior to the premolars (bicuspids) on either side of the jaw; grinding teeth, having large crowns, and broad chewing surfaces.
Occlusal: Pertaining to the biting surfaces of the premolar and molar teeth or contacting surfaces of opposing teeth or opposing occlusion rims.
Oral: Pertaining to the mouth.
Overdenture: A removable prosthetic device that overlies and may be supported by retained teeth or implants.
Palate: The hard and soft tissues forming the roof of the mouth that separates the oral and nasal cavities.
Partial Denture: Usually refers to a prosthetic device that replaces missing teeth.
Periodontal: Pertaining to the supporting and surrounding tissues of the teeth.
Periodontal Abscess: An infection in the gum pocket that can destroy hard and soft tissues.
Periodontal Disease: Inflammatory process of the gingival tissues and/or periodontal membrane of the teeth, resulting in an abnormally deep gingival sulcus, possibly producing periodontal pockets and loss of supporting alveolar bone.
Periodontitis: Inflammation and loss of the connective tissue of the supporting or surrounding structure of teeth with loss of attachment.
Plaque: A soft sticky substance that accumulates on teeth composed largely of bacteria and bacterial derivatives.
Prophylaxis: Scaling and polishing procedure performed to remove coronal plaque, calculus, and stains.
Pulp: Connective tissue containing blood vessels and nerve tissue that occupies the pulp cavity of a tooth.
Radiograph: An image produced by projecting radiation, like X-rays, on photographic film. Commonly called an X-ray.
Reline: To resurface the side of the denture that is in contact with the soft tissues of the mouth to make it fit more securely.
Removable Partial Denture: A prosthetic replacement of one or more missing teeth that can be removed by the patient.
Root: The anatomic portion of the tooth that is covered by cementum and is located in the alveolus (socket) where it is attached by the periodontal apparatus; radicular portion of a tooth.
Root Canal: The portion of the pulp cavity inside the root of a tooth; the chamber within the root of the tooth that contains the pulp.
Scaling: Removal of plaque, calculus, and stain from teeth.
Submandibular Glands: Walnut-sized major salivary glands located beneath the tongue.
Suture: Stitch used to repair incision or wound.
Temporary Removable Denture: An interim prosthesis designed for use over a limited period of time.
Temporomandibular joint (TMJ): The connecting hinge mechanism between the base of the skull (temporal bone) and the lower jaw (mandible).
Unerupted: Tooth/teeth that have not penetrated into the oral cavity.