A

Amalgam

A metal filling containing mercury. Amalgam is NOT used at our office.

Anesthesia

Medication used to allow a patient to sleep during a medical or dental procedure.

Ankylosis

A tooth that is fused to the surrounding bone. In the case of a baby tooth, it will not exfoliate on its own.

Aphthous Ulcer

A sore in the mouth of an autoimmune origin. Fancy name for canker sore.


B

 
 
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Biocompatible

Materials that work with the body and pose no risk of toxicity, harm, or rejection by the immune system.

Bitewing Radiographs

A type of X-ray picture that allows the doctor to see cavities between teeth.

Bonding

A tooth colored dental restorative material placed on the tooth to repair it. These materials are usually tooth colored.

Broken Jaw

A facial injury in which the jawbone (or mandible) is fractured as a result of an accident or trauma. It is important to seek emergency immediately if you suspect you or your child’s jaw is broken.

Brackets

Part of braces that hold the wire in place and usually have a rubber band around them.

Bruxism

A fancy name for grinding teeth.


C

Calculus

The hard, mineralized plaque that can’t be removed with normal brushing.

Cavity

Decay in the tooth caused by bacteria, often called carious lesion.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

A government agency that works to protect public health and safety through disease prevention, environmental and occupational health standards, and more.

Chipped Tooth

When part of a tooth breaks off as a result of trauma or biting down on something hard.

Composite

A tooth-colored restorative material.


D

Dental Equipment

The materials and apparatuses that are used to perform dental related tasks like checking for cavities and cleaning teeth.

Dry Socket

An inflammation of the tooth socket after extraction, caused by infection.


E

Enamel

The hardest part of teeth, the outer layer.

Endodontist

A dental professional specializing in root canal therapy.

Erosion

The wearing down of teeth caused by chemicals and/or acids.

Eruption

A fancy term for new teeth pushing through gums.

Extraction

The process of taking teeth out of the mouth.


F

Fixed Appliances

Devices cemented permanently into the mouth.

Frenectomy

A procedure where a small incision is made to release a tight or short frenulum.


G

Gingiva

A fancy name for the gums.

Gomphosis

The fibrous connection between bone and teeth.


I

Impacted Tooth

A tooth that is unable to erupt into the mouth through soft tissues. Similarly, a partially erupted tooth does not fully erupt through soft tissues.

Interproximal

This simply refers to the areas between teeth.

Intravenous Sedation

Medications for sedation administered through the blood stream.


L

Laser Bacterial Reduction

With the use of a laser light we can now eliminate the bacterial pathogens that cause gingivitis. This fancy treatment helps promote healthy gums. Great for our patients in orthodontic treatments.

Lingual Eruption

A sophisticated word describing the eruption pattern of the lower front four teeth: from the tongue forward. Often parents see this as teeth growing behind teeth. Most of the time, no treatment necessary!


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M

Malocclusion

Teeth that are improperly aligned against one another.

Mixed Dentition

A set of adolescent teeth, consisting of some adult and some baby teeth.

Molars

Teeth in the back of the mouth that are used most often for chewing. They are less sharp than the teeth in the front of the mouth and shaped more like grindstones.

Mouthguard

A tray made to be worn in the mouth to protect teeth against damage, usually for children who play contact sports.

Myofunctional Therapist

A therapist that specializes in exercises that target the facial muscles used to chew and swallow. They also help in diagnosing tethered oral tissues: tongue and lip ties.


N

Nitrous Oxide

Just another name for laughing gas. It is part of a family of inhalation anesthetic gases that not only provides analgesic (pain reducing) effects but also anxiolytic (anxiety reducing) effects. Excellent for children with a strong gagging reflex.


O

Occlusal

This refers to the biting or chewing surfaces of teeth.

Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon

A doctor who specializes in surgery of the mouth and jaw.

Oral Health

The practice of keeping the mouth, tongue, teeth and gums clean and healthy to prevent dental problems like cavities or gingivitis.

Orthodontist

A doctor who specializes in braces & the straightening of the teeth.

Osseointegration

Bone that is healing around an implant.


P

 
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Palliative

A fancy name for treating pain, though not a definite treatment.

Panoramic Radiograph

An x-ray image that shows the mid-face, jaw, sinuses and roots of teeth.

Pediatric Dentistry

A branch of dentistry dealing with children from birth to teenage years. Pediatric dentists complete four years of dental school along with an additional two years of residency training in dentistry for infants, children and teenagers.

Periapical X-Ray

An x-ray that shows the roots and tissues surrounding the roots.

Periodontal Abscess

An infection surrounding the root of the tooth identified by bone destruction.

Periodontist

A doctor who specializes in the gum and tissue around the tooth.

Permanent Dentition

A set of adult teeth.

Plaque

The soft gunk that you brush away with a toothbrush.

Premolars

Teeth located between the canines (used for biting and tearing foods) and the molars (larger, flatter teeth used for chewing) that look like a combination of both.

Prosthodontist

A dentist that has special training in restoring teeth with bonding material and/or crowns with an aesthetic approach in mind.

Primary Dentition

A set of baby teeth.

Prophylaxis

The cleaning of teeth and removal of plaque, calculus, and stains.

Pulp

The blood vessels and nerves in the tooth.

Pulpectomy

The complete removal of the tooth pulp.

Pulpotomy

Partial removal of the tooth pulp, the parts that are sick.


R

Radiograph

A fancy term for X-ray.

Removable Appliance

An orthodontic appliance that can be removed and cleaned.

Resin

Another name for composite dental filling or similarly tooth colored filling.

Root Canal Therapy

Cleaning out the diseased or injured portions of the canals in roots of teeth.


S

 
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Save-A-Tooth Solution

A first aid supplement that helps preserve teeth that have been knocked out for up to 24-hours until you or your child can see a dentist.

Scaling

A fancy name for cleaning teeth and removing stains and calculus.

Sealants

The protective material placed on teeth to cover their deep grooves and prevent cavities.

Sedation

Calming the nervous system to a state of deep relaxation through the use of certain child-friendly sedatives to help soothe nervous children and minimize discomfort.

Silver Diamine Fluoride (SDF)

A liquid medicine used to prevent and stop cavities from forming.

Sores or Ulcers

An open sore in the mouth caused by any number of sources including certain medications, infection, physical abrasion, or others.

Sterilization

A process that kills and removes all forms of bacteria from dental instruments or equipment.

Stomatitis

Inflammation of the tissues of the mouth.

Suture

A fancy term for stitches.


T

TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint)

The joint that connects the jaw to the rest of the head. TMJ Disorder or TMJ Syndrome refers to inflammation of this joint.

Toothache

Pain around the teeth or jaws usually caused by a dental condition like cavity.

Torus

A bony bump or elevation in the mouth.


U

Unerupted

A tooth that is still in the making and has not yet emerged from the gums.