Glossary

-A-

Abscess — infection caused by severe tooth decay, trauma or gum disease.

Air Abrasion — a decay-removing process that eliminates the need for shots and is free of noise and vibration associated with the drill.

Amalgam — a silver and mercury material used for fillings.

Anesthetic — a drug used by your doctor to eliminate a patient's localized pain during certain dental procedures.

Anterior — the teeth in the front of your mouth.

Antiseptic — an agent that can be applied to living tissues to destroy germs.

Apex — the very tip of the root of a tooth.

Aspirator — a suction device your dentist uses to remove saliva from your mouth.

-B-

Bleaching Agent — a gel used to whiten and brighten teeth.

Bonding — a plastic composite painted on the teeth to correct stains or damage.

Bridge — one or more artificial teeth attached to your adjacent teeth.

Bruxism — the clenching or grinding of teeth, most commonly while sleeping.

-C-

Calculus — the hardened plaque that can form on neglected or prone teeth, commonly known as tartar.

Canine — the pointy teeth just behind the laterals.

Caries — another name for cavities or decayed teeth.

Cavity — a tiny hole in the tooth caused by decay.

Central — the two upper and two lower teeth in the center of the mouth.

Crown — an artificial tooth or cover made of porcelain or metal.

Cuspid — the pointy teeth just behind the laterals, also known as canines.

-D-

Decalcification — the loss of calcium from the teeth.

Deciduous Teeth — also called "baby teeth."

Dental Implants — an implant attached to the jawbone that replaces a missing tooth or teeth.

Denture — a removable set of artificial teeth.

DIAGNOdent — laser detector that can identify cavities at the earliest stage, even when they do not appear on X-rays.

-E-

Enamel — the hard surface of the tooth above the gum line.

Endodontist — a dentist who specializes in root canals and the treatment of diseases and infections of the dental pulp (inner tooth).

Extraction — the removal of a tooth or teeth.

-F-

Filling — a plug made of metal or composite material used to fill a tooth cavity.

Fluoride — a chemical solution used to harden teeth and prevent decay.

-G-

Gingivitis — inflammation of gums around the roots of the teeth.

Gums — the firm flesh that surrounds the roots of the teeth.

-I-

Impacted Tooth — often occurring with wisdom teeth, it is a tooth that sits sideways below the gum line, often requiring extraction.

Incisal — related to incisors (see below).

Incisor — one of the flat, sharp-edged teeth in the front of the mouth.

Inlays — a custom-made filling cemented into an unhealthy tooth.

Instant Orthodontics — alternative to braces using bonded porcelain veneers or crowns.

-L-

Lateral — these are the teeth adjacent to the centrals.

-N-

Night Guard — a plastic mouthpiece worn at night to prevent grinding of the teeth. Often used to treat TMJ.

-P-

Pedontist — also known as a pediatric dentist, a dentist that specializes in the treatment of children's teeth.

Periodontist — a dentist specializing in the treatment of gum disease.

Plaque — a sticky buildup of acids and bacteria that causes tooth decay.

Posterior Teeth — the teeth in the back of the mouth.

Primary Teeth — also known as "baby teeth" or deciduous teeth.

Prosthodontist — a dentist specializing in the restoration and replacement of missing teeth or severely damaged teeth.

-R-

Root — the portion of the tooth below your gum line.

Root Canal — cleaning out and filling the inside nerve of a tooth that is heavily decayed.

-S-

Sealant — plastic coating applied to teeth to prevent decay. Used most commonly for children.

Secondary Teeth — the permanent teeth.

Six-Year Molar — commonly known as "the first molar."

Sleep Apnea — a potentially serious disorder in which a sleeping person may stop breathing for 10 seconds or more, often continuously throughout the night.

-T-

Tartar — see calculus.

TMJ Syndrome — a disorder associated with the joint of the jaw. Often caused by a misalignment of or a disparity in upper and lower jaw sizes.

Tooth Whitening — a process designed to whiten and brighten teeth.

Twelve-Year Molar — commonly known as "the second molar."

-V-

Veneer — a plastic, porcelain or composite material used to improve the attractiveness of a stained or damaged tooth.

-W-

Wand — system that emits a balanced flow of anesthetic through the tissue, resulting in better patient comfort.

Vernon Pediatric Dentistry

  • Vernon Pediatric Dentistry - 900 Ritchie Hwy., Suite 101, Severna Park, MD 21146 Phone: (410) 544-4888 Fax: (410) 544-9504

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