Dental Glossary - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Dental Glossary

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 condition 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 it cuts 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, gum, disease

plaque - bacterial colonies which have mineralized and attack teeth, causing dental decay

porcelain veneer - 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 - is 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 disability who requires particular dental care needs

third molars  - wisdom teeth

TMD  - temporomandibular disorder; problems relating to your temporomandibular joint which includes locking of the jaw, frequent headaches, sore jaw muscles and painful clicking of the jaw

TMJ  - temporomandibular joint

Provided by the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD)