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    Glossary

    A

    Abrasion

    Abnormal tooth wear caused by forces other than chewing such as holding objects between the teeth or improper brushing.


    Abutment

    A tooth or dental implant that supports a dental prosthesis.


    Abutment Crown

    Artificial crown serving for the retention or support of a dental prosthesis.


    Alveolar bone

    The part of the jaw that surrounds the roots of the teeth.


    Alveolar process

    The curving part of the jaw into which the teeth are rooted.


    Amalgam

    Dental filling material. A metallic alloy.


    Analgesia

    Loss of pain sensations without loss of consciousness.


    Anatomical Crown

    That portion of tooth normally covered by, and including, enamel.

    Ankylosis

    A condition where two hard tissues are fused together. When this happens to a tooth and the alveolar bone, the tooth partially erupts.


    Apicoectomy

    Surgical removal of the tip of a tooth root.

    Artificial Crown

    Restoration covering or replacing the major part, or the
whole of the clinical crown of a tooth.

    B

    Benign

    The mild character of an illness or the non-malignant character of a
neoplasm.


    Bicuspid

    A premolar tooth.


    Bilateral

    Occurring on, or pertaining to, both right and left sides.


    Biopsy

    Process of removing tissue for histologic evaluation.


    Bitewing radiographs

    X-rays used to reveal the crowns of several upper and lower teeth as they bite down.


    Bleaching

    A cosmetic dental procedure that whitens the teeth using a bleaching solution.


    Bonding

    A composite resin applied to a tooth to change its shape and/or color. Bonding also refers to how a filling, orthodontic appliance or some fixed partial dentures are attached to teeth.


    BridgeBruxism

    Constant grinding or clenching of teeth during the day or while asleep.

    C

    Calculus

    Hard deposit of mineralized material adhering to crowns and/or roots of teeth.


    Caries

    Commonly used term for tooth decay.


    Cariogenic

    Promotes tooth decay.


    Cavity

    Decay in tooth caused by caries; also referred to as carious lesion.


    Cementum

    Hard connective tissue covering the tooth root.


    Cleft Lip

    Birth defect in which one or more fissures form in the upper lip, which takes place while the fetus is growing.


    Cleft Palate

    Congenital deformity resulting in lack of fusion of the soft and/or hard palate, either partial or complete.

    Clenching

    The clamping and pressing of the jaws and teeth together in centric occlusion, frequently associated with psychological stress or physical effort.


    Composite

    A dental restorative material made up of disparate or separate parts (e.g. resin and quartz particles).


    Comprehensive Oral Evaluation

    Typically used by a general dentist and/or a specialist when evaluating a patient comprehensively. It is a thorough evaluation and recording of the extraoral and intraoral hard and soft tissues. It may require interpretation of information acquired through additional diagnostic procedures. This would include the evaluation and recording of the patient dental and medical history and a general health assessment. It may typically include the evaluation and recording of dental caries, missing or unerupted teeth, restorations, occlusal relationships, periodontal conditions (including periodontal charting), hard and soft tissue anomalies, etc.


    Conscious Sedation 

    A state in which patients are awake and can breathe and swallow on their own but are less aware of what is taking place.


    Clinical Crown

    That portion of a tooth not covered by supporting tissues.


    Crown Lengthening

    A surgical procedure exposing more tooth for restorative purposes by apically positioning the gingival margin and/or removing supporting bone.


    Cusp

    The pointed portion of the tooth.


    Cyst

    Pathological cavity, usually lined with epithelium, containing fluid or soft matter.

    D

    Debridement

    Removing foreign matter or dead tissue.


    Decay

    The lay term for carious lesions in a tooth; decomposition of tooth structure.


    Deciduous Dentition

    Refers to the deciduous or primary teeth in the dental arch.

    Dental Implant

    A device specially designed to be placed surgically within or on the mandibular or maxillary bone as a means of providing for dental replacement; endosteal (endosseous); eposteal (subperiosteal); transosteal (transosseous).

    Dental Prophylaxis

    Scaling and polishing procedure performed to remove coronal plaque, calculus, and stains.


    Dental Prosthesis

    An artificial device that replaces one or more missing teeth.


    Dentin

    That part of the tooth that is beneath enamel and cementum.


    Dentition

    The teeth in the dental arch.

    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 Socket

    Localized inflammation of the tooth socket following extraction due to infection or loss of blood clot.

    E

    Edentulous

    Toothless.


    Enamel

    Hard calcified tissue covering dentin of the crown of tooth.


    Erosion

    Wearing down of tooth structure, caused by chemicals (acids).


    Eruption

    When a tooth emerges or pushes through the gums.


    EvaluationPeriodic Oral Evaluation

    An evaluation performed on a patient of record to determine any changes in the patient dental and medical health status since a previous comprehensive or periodic evaluation. This may require interpretation of information acquired through additional diagnostic procedures. Report additional diagnostic procedures separately.


    Excision

    Surgical removal of bone or tissue.


    Extraction

    The process or act of removing a tooth or tooth parts.

    F

    Filling

    A lay term used for the restoring of lost tooth structure by using materials such as metal, alloy, plastic or porcelain.


    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.


    Fixed Partial Denture

    A fixed partial denture is a prosthetic replacement of one or more missing teeth cemented or attached to the abutment teeth or implant abutments adjacent to the space.


    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 reveal all the teeth (their crowns and roots) and the alveolar bone around them.

    G

    General Anesthesia

    A controlled state of unconsciousness, accompanied by a partial or complete loss of protective reflexes, including loss of ability to independently maintain airway and respond purposefully to physical stimulation or verbal command, produced by a pharmacologic or non-pharmacologic method or combination thereof;


    Gingiva

    Soft tissues overlying the crowns of unerupted teeth and encircling the necks of those that have erupted.


    Gingival Hyperplasia

    An overgrowth of gingival tissues.


    Gingivectomy

    The excision or removal of gingiva.


    Gingivitis

    Inflammation of gingival tissue without loss of connective tissue.


    Gingivoplasty

    Surgical procedure to reshape gingiva.


    Graft

    A piece of tissue or alloplastic material placed in contact with tissue to repair a defect or supplement a deficiency.


    Guided tissue regeneration 

    Procedure during flap surgery for periodontal disease in which a membrane is inserted between the alveolar bone and the bone graft to encourage the gum tissues to grow onto the alveolar bone.

    H

    I

    Imaging, Diagnostic

    This would include, but is not limited to, CAT scans, MRIs, photographs, radiographs, etc.


    Immediate Denture

    Prosthesis constructed for placement immediately after 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.


    Implant

    Material inserted or grafted into tissue.

    Implantation

    Placement of an artificial or natural tooth into an alveolus.


    Inlay

    An indirect intracoronal restoration; a dental restoration made outside of the oral cavity to correspond to the form of the prepared cavity, which is then luted into the tooth.


    Interproximal

    Between the teeth.


    Intraoral

    Inside the mouth.


    Intravenous Sedation

    Medications used intravenously (through the bloodstream) to produce varying levels of sedation.

    J

    Jaw

    A common name for either the maxilla or the mandible.

    K

    L

    Labial

    Pertaining to or around the lip.


    Lesion

    An injury or wound; area of diseased tissue.


    Limited Oral Evaluation

    Problem focused: an evaluation limited to a specific oral health problem. This may require interpretation of information acquired through additional diagnostic procedures. Definitive procedures may be required on the same date as the evaluation. Typically, patients receiving this type of evaluation have been referred for a specific problem and/or present with dental emergencies, trauma, acute infection, etc.


    Lingual

    Pertaining to or around the tongue; surface of the tooth directed toward the tongue; opposite of facial.

    Local Anesthesia

    The loss of pain sensation over a specific area of the anatomy without loss of consciousness.

    M

    Maintenance, Periodontal

    Therapy for preserving the state of health of the periodontium.


    Malignant

    Having the properties of dysplasia, invasion, and metastasis.


    Malocclusion

    Improper alignment of biting or chewing surfaces of upper and lower teeth.


    Maryland Bridge

    A type of fixed partial denture not requiring crowns. The prosthesis is bonded to the natural teeth to secure it.


    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.


    Mouthguard

    Device that fits over the teeth to prevent injury to the teeth, mouth or lips. May also refer to a device that prevents tooth grinding or treats temporomandibular disorders.


    Mucous Membrane

    Lining of the oral cavity as well as other canals and cavities of the body; also called ‘mucosa’.

    N

    Non-Intravenous Conscious Sedation

    A medically controlled state of depressed consciousness while maintaining the patient airway, protective reflexes and the ability to respond to stimulation or verbal commands. It includes administration of sedative and/or analgesic agent(s) by a route other than IV; (PO, PR, Intranasal, IM) and appropriate monitoring.


    O

    Obstructive Sleep Apnea

    A disorder in which breathing stops for short periods of time during sleep.


    Occlusal

    Pertaining to the biting surfaces of the premolar and molar teeth or contacting surfaces of opposing teeth or opposing occlusion rims.


    Occlusion

    Any contact between biting or chewing surfaces of maxillary (upper) and mandibular (lower) teeth.


    Onlay

    An indirect restoration made outside the oral cavity that overlays a cusp or cusps of the tooth, which is then luted to the tooth.


    Oral

    Pertaining to the mouth.


    Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

    A dental specialist whose practice is limited to the diagnosis, surgical and adjunctive treatment of diseases, injuries, deformities, defects and esthetic aspects of the oral and maxillofacial regions.


    Oral Mucosa 

    The pink-red tissues that line the mouth.


    Orthodontist

    A dental specialist whose practice is limited to the interception and treatment of malocclusion of the teeth and their surrounding structures.


    Orthodontic Retainer

    Appliance to stabilize teeth following orthodontic
treatment.

    Orthognathic Surgery

    Surgery performed to correct facial imbalances caused by abnormalities of the jaw bones.


    Osseointegration 

    The process by which bone heals around an implant.


    Osteoplasty

    Surgical procedure that modifies the configuration of bone.


    Osteotomy

    Surgical cutting of bone.


    Overdenture

    A removable prosthetic device that overlies and may be supported by retained tooth roots or implants.

    P

    Palate

    The hard and soft tissues forming the roof of the mouth that separates the oral and nasal cavities.


    Palliative

    Action that relieves pain but is not curative.


    Parotid Glands 

    Major salivary glands located in front of and below the ears.


    Partial Denture

    Usually refers to a prosthetic device that replaces missing teeth.


    Pediatric Dentist

    A dental specialist whose practice is limited to treatment of children from birth through adolescence; formerly known as a pedodontist.


    Pellicle

    A thin nonbacterial film from saliva that covers the teeth.


    Periapical X-Ray 

    An x-ray that shows several entire teeth (crowns and roots) and includes a small amount of the periapical bone (surrounding the root tips).


    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.


    Periodontal Pocket

    Pathologically deepened gingival sulcus; a feature of periodontal disease.


    Periodontitis

    Inflammation and loss of the connective tissue of the supporting or surrounding structure of teeth with loss of attachment.


    Permanent Dentition

    Refers to the permanent teeth in the dental arch.

    Plaque

    A soft sticky substance that accumulates on teeth composed largely of bacteria and bacterial derivatives.


    Post

    An elongated projection fitted and cemented within the prepared root canal, serving to strengthen and retain restorative material and/or a crown restoration.


    Posterior

    Refers to teeth and tissues towards the back of the mouth (distal to the canines): maxillary and mandibular premolars and molars.


    Precision Attachment

    Interlocking device, one component of which is fixed to an abutment or abutments and the other is integrated into a fixed or removable prosthesis in order to stabilize and/or retain it.


    Premedication

    The use of medications prior to dental procedures.


    Prophylaxis

    Scaling and polishing procedure performed to remove coronal plaque, calculus and stains.


    Prosthesis

    Artificial replacement of any part of the body.


    Prosthodontist

    A dental specialist whose practice is limited to the restoration of the natural teeth and/or the replacement of missing teeth with artificial substitutes.


    Prosthodontic Retainer

    A part of a fixed partial denture that attaches a
pontic to the abutment tooth, implant abutment, or implant.

    Pulp

    Connective tissue that contains blood vessels and nerve tissue which occupies the pulp cavity of a tooth.


    Pulp Cavity

    The space within a tooth which contains the pulp.


    Pulpectomy

    Complete removal of vital and non-vital pulp tissue from the root canal space.


    Pulpotomy

    Surgical removal of a portion of the pulp with the aim of maintaining the vitality of the remaining portion by means of an adequate dressing; pulp amputation.

    Q

    R

    Radiograph

    An image produced by projecting radiation, as x-rays, on photographic film. Commonly called x-ray.


    Ranula

    A cyst that can develop under the tongue on the floor of the mouth.


    Rebase

    To replace the denture base.


    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 Appliance 

    Removable orthodontic appliances used to effect simple tipping movements of one tooth or several.


    Removable Partial Denture

    A removable partial denture (removable bridge) is 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 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.


    Root Canal Therapy

    The treatment of disease and injuries of the pulp and associated periradicular conditions.


    Root Caries 

    Tooth decay that forms on the roots.


    Root Planing

    A procedure designed to remove microbial flora, bacterial toxins, calculus, and diseased cementum or dentin on the root surfaces and in the pocket.

    S

    Scaling

    Removal of plaque, calculus, and stain from teeth.


    Sealants

    Plastic resin placed on the biting surfaces of molars to prevent bacteria from attacking the enamel and causing caries.


    Splint

    A device used to support, protect, or immobilize oral structures that have been loosened, replanted, fractured or traumatized. Also refers to devices used in the treatment of temporomandibular joint disorders.


    Stomatitis 

    Inflammation of the membranes in the mouth.


    Sublingual Glands 

    Major salivary glands located in the mucosa on the floor of the mouth.


    Submandibular Glands 

    Walnut-sized major salivary glands located beneath the tongue.


    Suture

    Stitch used to repair incision or wound.

    T

    Temporary Removable Denture

    An interim prosthesis designed for use over limited period of time.


    Temporomandibular

    The connecting hinge mechanism between the base of the skull (temporal bone) and the lower jaw (mandible).


    Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction

    Abnormal functioning of temporomandibular joint; also refers to symptoms arising in other areas secondary to the dysfunction.


    Torus

    A bony elevation or protuberance, usually in the palate or in mandible.

    U

    Unerupted

    Tooth/teeth that have not penetrated into the oral cavity.

    V

    Veneer

    A cosmetic procedure, layer of tooth-colored material, usually, composite, porcelain, ceramic or acrylic resin, attached to the surface of a tooth by direct bonding.

    W

    X

    Xerostomia

    Decreased salivary secretion that produces a dry and sometimes burning sensation of the oral mucosa and/or cervical caries.

    Y

    Z