Dental care and oral health information you need
from the Academy of General Dentistry

Sunday, July 14, 2024
Know Your Teeth Academy of General Dentistry Know Your Teeth


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Glossary of Dental Terms

Oral Health Defined
Amalgam silver/mercury alloy used to fill cavities |
Bleaching cosmetic whitening of teeth using peroxide |
Caries cavities, tooth decay |
Carcinogenic cancer-causing
Cariogenic decay-causing
Composites tooth-colored restorative materials |
Cosmetic dentistry aesthetic improvement of the color and shape of teeth performed by a general dentist |
Edentulous having lost most or all of the natural teeth
Endodontist treats oral conditions that arise as a result of disease or injury of the dental pulp of the tooth, such as a root canal
General dentist primary care provider for patients in all age groups who take responsibility for the diagnosis, treatment, management and overall coordination of services to meet patients' oral health needs |
Geriatric dentist general dentist who primarily treats senior citizens
Gingivitis reversible inflammation of gum tissue not including the bone
Malocclusion misalignment of teeth and or jaws
Microair abrasion a drill-free technique using an instrument resembling a tiny sand blaster that delivers tiny aluminum oxide particles to the surface, where they cut away the decayed area
Mouthguards an appliance used to protect teeth from injury |
Occlusal surface the chewing surface of the tooth
Oral and maxillofacial surgeon treats and surgically corrects diseases, injuries, and defects of the mouth and jaws
Oral pathologist examines oral tissues for evidence of suspected abnormalities such as cancer.
Orthodontics a branch of dentistry dealing with irregularities of the teeth and their correction, as by means of braces and retainer |
Orthodontist designs and applies corrective and supportive appliances, braces, to realign crooked teeth
Pediatric dentist provides treatment and care for children from birth through adolescence
Periodontal disease inflammation and irritation of the gums which, if left untreated, can cause the jawbone and teeth to deteriorate and fall out |
Periodontist diagnoses and treats diseases of the tissues supporting and surrounding the teeth, especially periodontal disease
Plaque bacterial colonies which have mineralized and attack teeth, causing dental decay
Porcelain veneers ultra-thin shells of ceramic material bonded to the front of the tooth |
Prophylaxis professional cleaning of the teeth by a dentist or hygienist
Prosthodontist constructs artificial appliances designed to restore and maintain oral function by replacing missing teeth and other oral structures such as dentures
Public health dentist concerned with the dental health needs of entire communities, and can design and administer large-scale prevention and dental care programs by compiling and analyzing statistics
Radiosurgery surgery technique that uses radio waves to produce a pressureless, bloodless incision; can also be used to heat bleaching agents
Resin plastic material used in bonding, restorative, and replacement procedures
Restorative dentistry process of restoring missing, damaged or diseased teeth to normal form and function, performed by general dentists
Sealant plastic coating used to protect teeth from decay |
Special patient person with a disability who requires particular dental care needs
Third molars wisdom teeth |
TMD temporomandibular disorder; problems relating to your temporomandibular joint which include locking of the jaw, frequent headaches, sore jaw muscles, and painful clicking of the jaw |
TMJ temporomandibular joint