Abscess
A collection of pus that usually forms because of infection

Abutment
A tooth or tooth structure that anchors a bridge, crown, or a denture

Amalgam
A silver filling material

Anesthetic
A numbing agent that causes temporary loss of sensation/feeling

Anterior
The front position

Apex
The end of the tooth root

Asepsis
The absence of bacteria and micro-organisms

Attrition
Wear of teeth due to activities like chewing

Avulsed
An injury that causes a tooth to be completely knocked out of the mouth

Bitewing
A kind of dental X-ray taken with the teeth bite together. This kind of X-ray detects cavities in between teeth and height of bone support.

Bleaching
Whitening of teeth.

Bridge
A prosthesis fixed inside the mouth to replace missing teeth.

Bruxism
Teeth grinding

Canine
The third tooth from the middle of the jaw. There are four of them. They are the longest teeth in humans.

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 in the tooth

Cast
A model of teeth

Cementation
The process of “gluing” the appliance/prosthesis on the associated area

Chlorhexidine
An anti-microbial agent. It’s available in many forms, like gels and rinses. It also is an effective agent in controlling gum diseases.

Clasp
A metal arm extended from a removable partial denture. It helps to hold onto natural tooth structure and provides an anchor for the denture.

Cold Sore
An ulcer or blister on lip, a form of herpes simplex

Composite
White filling

Cross-Bite
An abnormal bite between the upper and lower jaw. The lower teeth align toward the cheek/ lip side more than the upper teeth.

Crown
A crown is like a “cap” on a tooth. It covers the tooth partially or totally above the gum to restore its function and appearance.

Decay
Bacteria that corrodes tooth enamel and dentin, an infection within a tooth that must be treated

Dentistry
A branch of medicine that involves diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of any disease concerning teeth, oral cavity, and associated structures.

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

Denture
Refers to immediate, complete, and partial dentures. Also can refer to overdentures and temporary dentures. It’s a dental device to replace missing teeth. There are many different types of dentures depending on the patient’s needs.

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

Desensitization
A procedure to reduce the sensitivity of teeth

Diagnosis
The process of identifying dental disea

Diastema
The space between two adjacent teeth

Distal
Indicates the direction away from the middle of the jaw

Edentulous
The lack of teeth

Endodontics
A department of dentistry involving diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental pulp (where the nerves and blood vessels are inside the tooth). Root canals are part of endodontics treatment.

Eruption
The process of the tooth appearing in the mouth

Excision
The action of cutting something out

Extruded
When a tooth may be pushed partially out of the socket

Filling
A restoration placed on a tooth to restore its function and appearance

Flipper
A temporary denture to replace missing teeth during the waiting period for long-term treatment

Floss
A thread/tape that goes in between teeth for cleaning

Fluoride
A compound of fluorine (a mineral) put into different forms, like water, gels, and rinses, to strengthen teeth

Fluoride Treatment
Teeth treatment with fluoride agents like gel or rinse. It helps prevent tooth decay.

Fracture
When a tooth weakens, a fracture may result. It’s possible for the crack to extend further into the root and damage the pulp inside.

Framework
A metal skeleton of a removable partial denture to support the false teeth and the plastic attachments

Gingivitis
The mildest form of gum disease

Hemorrhage
Bleeding

Hemostasis
When bleeding stops (for example, after a tooth extraction)

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

Implant
A device, like a screw, surgically placed in the jawbone to support a false tooth, a denture, or a bridge

Impression
A physical mold of your teeth created by some jelly-like material

Incisal
The cutting edge of front teeth

Incisor
One of four upper and lower front teeth

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

Interproximal
The space 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 three upper and lower teeth on both sides of the mouth

Mouthguard
A device, similar to an aligner, to wear in the mouth. Depending on the design, it prevents injury to the teeth and jaw during teeth grinding or sports events.

Nightguard
A mouthguard worn at night

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 upper teeth can’t connect with 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.

Overhang
The portion of filling material that hangs beyond the border of the cavity

Palate
The roof of the mouth

Panoramic Radiograph
An X-ray that views the 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 gum (periodontal) disease

Permanent Teeth
Adult 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
Making a tooth, filling, or other restoration smooth and glossy

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

Post
A big pin that can be made with different materials, like metal or carbon. It usually supports a big buildup on a tooth.

Posterior
Located at the back

Pre-Authorization
An approval from the particular authority (usually insurance company in dentistry) before any action (treatment) is carried out

Pre-Medication
Medication needing to be taken before treatment

Premolar
The two teeth located in front of the molar

Prescription
A written statement (from a doctor to a pharmacist) regarding the type, the amount and direction of the use of a medication for a patient. In dentistry, a prescription can also be a written statement for

preparation of an appliance from a dentist to a lab technician.

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 involving diagnosis, treatment planning, and fabrication of artificial parts to replace missing teeth and their associated structures

Pulp
The innermost 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 image

Recall
The regular checkup and teeth cleaning appointment

Recementation
The process of “gluing” the appliance/prosthesis back on the associated area

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, a crown, a bridge, etc.

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

Retreatment
The process of repeating the root canal 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
Cleaning the root area of a tooth

Rubber Dam
A rubber sheet that fits around teeth. It isolates the treatment area from the rest of the oral cavity.

Scaling
Cleaning teeth below the gumline

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

Sedation
The use of medication to calm a patient

Space Maintainer
An appliance to maintain the space between teeth

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

Tempromandibular Joint (TMJ)
The joint that links the two parts of the jaw

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

Veneer
A layer of tooth-colored material (can be porcelain, composite, or ceramics) that attaches to the front of the tooth. It’s usually used to improve the appearance of the tooth.

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

Xerostomia
Dry mouth