Glossary of Dental Clinical Terms

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  • Abrasion
    Tooth abrasion is a progressive, pathological loss of tooth substances due to mechanical forces.
  • Apicoectomy
    Endodontic surgical procedure, where endodontists remove the inflamed periapical tissue and bone and the tip of the root. If the inflamed dental pulp is not treated on time, the infection can spread to the periapical tissues.
  • Avulsion
    Avulsion is a traumatic injury where the tooth is completely thrown out of its alveolar socket.
  • Abscess
    An abscess is a collection of pus that is located around the root of a tooth, between the root and the gums or inside the bones of the jaws.
  • Abutment
    The abutment is a special connecting part that is placed over the implant. Its role is to provide the connection between the implant and the restoration.
  • Addition Silicone Impressions
    Addition Silicone Impressions- usually used for precise impressions for fixed restorations.
  • Alginate Impression
    Alginate Impression- a special type of impression used in dentistry. Alginate is an irreversible hydrocolloid and the most common uses are for getting preliminary impressions for dentures, from patients that have an excessive flow of saliva, partial dentures, study models and more.
  • Alveoloplasty
    Alveoloplasty- a surgical procedure used to reshape the jawbones.
  • Amalgam
    Dental amalgam is a material that was used very often in the past. In dentistry, amalgam is a combination of mercury and other metals such as silver, copper, zinc, tin and more. It is probably the most popular dental material ever.
  • Apex
    The apex is the tip of the tooth’s root. On the apex, there is an opening called apical foramina. That is the place where all the blood vessels and nerves come inside the tooth.
  • Arcus Digma 2
    a hi-tech computerized system used to diagnose patients with bite problems.
  • Bleaching
    Also known as teeth whitening, a cosmetic procedure to restore the teeth’s natural color, or to whiten the natural shade.
  • Bruxism
    Bruxism, or also known as teeth grinding, is a condition when people grind and clench their teeth and jaw.
  • Braces
    Braces are special orthodontic devices that are regularly used. Whenever a patient has any kind of malocclusion, he needs an orthodontic treatment that in most cases involves braces. They can be used to correct crooked teeth, missing teeth, overbite, underbite, incorrect positions of the jaws and more.
  • Branemark Implant System
    The Branemark implant system is the oldest one in the world. This is also the most tested system with the highest amount of clinical research.
  • Bridgeworks
    Dental bridges are dental restorations that are made to fill the gaps from missing teeth and help to fully restore the function in the mouth.
  • CAD/CAM
    Special computer software in dentistry used for designing and creating dental crowns, dental bridges, dentures, inlays, onlays, veneers and more.
  • Canines
    Canine teeth are also known as canines, cuspids, fangs and dog teeth.
  • Cementum
    Calcified tissue that covers the tooth’s root.
  • Cerec 3D
    Cerec 3D procedure consists in taking a digital optical impression Sirona Inlab directly in the patient’s mouth, designing the restoration on the computer with a special software and fabricating the restoration chair side with a special milling called Inlab MCXL.
  • Clear Orthodontic Aligners
    Are an alternative and more cosmetic way to straighten your teeth compared to traditional braces.
  • Composite Bonding
    Is a procedure where a thin layer of tooth-colored composite is molded on your teeth in order to get a better appearance.
  • Composite
    Composite - the dental composite is one of the most frequently used materials in dentistry. It is a tooth-colored material that can be used for dental fillings and for cosmetic dentistry.
  • Cosmetic Dentistry
    A variety of procedures your dentist can perform to improve your appearance and give you a better smile. The procedures include dental whitening, composite bonding, veneers, crowns and bridges, tooth reshaping and contouring, dental implants.
  • Cracked tooth syndrome
    Is a syndrome that usually affects the molars and includes a crack in the tooth that is of different dimensions, sometimes very small and hard to notice, while others it can affect the dental pulp.
  • Cystic lesion
    There are many different types of cystic lesions that can appear in the oral cavity. The most common one is the periapical cyst that appears as a result of pulpal necrosis.
  • Calculus
    Dental calculus appears as a result of plaque build-up.
  • Caries
    Dental caries is also known as tooth decay. In other words, it is a destructive process that affects the hard dental tissues. It can happen to any surface of the teeth. Caries is a big dental problem that is caused by several different types of bacteria in the mouth.
  • Condensation Silicon Impression
    Condensation Silicon Impression- impressions used for preparation of crowns and bridges
  • Crown
    Is a fixed prosthetic “cap” that is placed on a tooth to improve its function, anatomy, and aesthetics.
  • Decay
    Also known as the dental cavity, is the destruction of the tooth’s hard tissues (enamel, dentin, cementum) caused by bacteria that produce acids. The risk factors that can lead to cavity are poor oral hygiene, food that contains a lot of sugar, dry mouth, diseases such as diabetes and more.
  • Dental abscess
    An abscess is a collection of pus that is located around the root of a tooth, between the root and the gums or inside the bones of the jaws.
  • Dental Bridgeworks
    Dental bridges are dental restorations that are made to fill the gaps from missing teeth and help to fully restore the function in the mouth.
  • Dental Crown
    Is a fixed prosthetic “cap” that is placed on a tooth to improve its function, anatomy, and aesthetics.
  • Dental Laser
    Is a laser specially designed to be used in dentistry for performing different intraoral procedures. It is a relatively new and expensive way of treatment, but it is very effective and it offers a wide range of procedures.
  • Dentin
    The dentin is a calcified tissue that contains small tubules that cause the sensitivity of the tooth since they are filled with liquid and odontoblastic endings.
  • Dentures
    Dentures are removable dental appliances that are used to replace missing teeth.
  • Diastema closure
    Diastema is a gap between two teeth. It is usually located between the upper central incisors, but it can be located between any two teeth in the mouth.
  • Diastema
    Is a gap between two teeth, usually between the two maxillary incisors. It can be caused by many factors such as missing teeth, oversized labial frenulum, periodontal disease, bad habits.
  • Digital smile solution
    Is a software for diagnosing and designing a smile makeover.
  • Dental Implant
    Dental implants are special artificial structures usually made of titanium. Other materials include zirconia. Each implant looks like the root of a tooth and it is placed inside the jawbones.
  • Diode Laser
    Diode Laser- mostly used for soft tissue procedures. The most common ones include excision of hyperplastic gingival tissue, periodontal treatment, hemostasis, gingivectomy, frenectomy, gingival sculpting techniques, treatment of aphthous ulcer and more.
  • Distal
    as an anatomical term is used to describe something that is located further than the point of reference.
  • DVT
    DVT- Digital Volume Tomography
  • Enamel
    The enamel is a hard, translucent tissue that covers the crown of the tooth. It is the hardest tissue in the human body. The enamel is responsible for the tooth’s color, and the color can change by drinking a lot of coffee, tea, red wine and more.
  • Endodontics
    A branch of dentistry that studies the diagnosis and treating of oral pain and inflammation and infection of the soft tissue od the tooth (dental pulp) and the periapical tissues.
  • Erosion
    Dental erosion is a progressive loss of tooth substances due to their exposure to acids.
  • Extraction
    Pulling a tooth out of his socket.
  • Enameloplasty
    Enameloplasty is a procedure that includes removing very small amounts of the tooth’s enamel in order to change its appearance.
  • Feldspar ceramics
    Feldspar ceramic is a glass ceramic material mostly used for veneers or veneering metal-ceramic restorations.
  • Filling
    The dental filling is a material that is used to fill the gaps in the tooth made by removing the decayed parts.
  • Fixed orthodontic braces
    Orthodontic braces are the most commonly used device in orthodontics and are used to improve the position of misaligned teeth and jaws.
  • Furcation area
    Furcation area is the place where the different roots of a tooth separate.
  • Floss
    Dental floss should be a regular part of everyone’s oral hygiene.
  • Fluoride Treatment
    Fluoride treatment is a preventive measure that involves the use of fluoride to protect the teeth from caries.
  • Gingival recession
    Gingival recession or receding gums happens when the gums are retracted and the root of the tooth is exposed.
  • Gingivitis
    Is an inflammatory process that affects the gums and it is the first, reversible phase in gum disease.
  • Gum surgery
    Some patients that have periodontal disease might need gum surgery. Gum surgery is indicated for patients that have advanced periodontal disease that does not respond to non-surgical treatment.
  • Gums
    Is the part of the oral mucosa that covers the necks of teeth and the alveolar parts of maxilla and mandible.
  • Hemisection
    Dividing multi-rooted teeth in half in order to save the healthy part of the tooth.
  • Immediate dentures
    Immediate dentures are dentures that are made before extracting the remaining teeth and are placed in the mouth immediately after the removal of the teeth.
  • Impacted teeth
    Are teeth that have difficulties in erupting. Wisdom teeth and upper canines are the teeth that are usually impacted. There are a lot of factors that can influence the impaction, such as not enough space in the jaw, tilted tooth and more.
  • Implant dentistry
    Implant dentistry is a field in dentistry that is specialized in oral rehabilitation with dental implants.
  • Implants
    Dental implants are titanium structures that replace a tooth’s root.
  • Incisor
    Front four teeth, located between the canines.
  • Inlay
    Is an indirect filling that can be made of gold, porcelain or composite.
  • Impression
    A dental impression is a procedure that includes taking a negative copy from the tissues in your mouth for different reasons.
  • Invisalign
    Invisalign is a great innovation in the field of orthodontics. It is a type of treatment that involves clear removable braces, used to get a perfect smile.
  • lithium disilicate
    Lithium disilicate is a glass ceramic material and is one of the most commonly used materials for monolithic crowns, bridges, veneers, inlays, onlays, implant suprastructures.
  • Laser
    Is a laser specially designed to be used in dentistry for performing different intraoral procedures. It is a relatively new and expensive way of treatment, but it is very effective and it offers a wide range of procedures.
  • Malocclusion
    Malocclusion, or also known as a poor bite, is actually a misalignment between the upper and lower teeth, and/or the upper and lower jaw.
  • Mandible
    Lower jaw
  • Maxilla
    Upper jaw
  • Microendodontics
    Microendodontics is an advancement in dentistry that uses microscopes in endodontics procedures.
  • Molar
    Multi-rooted teeth placed behind the premolars.
  • Mouthguard
    Mouthguards are special protective mouth appliances that are used to protect the teeth, lips, and gums. They are most commonly used in the treatment of bruxism, different temporomandibular disorders, and in some cases can be used for teeth whitening.
  • Odontectomy
    Is a surgical procedure of extracting an impacted tooth.
  • Onlay
    The process of making an onlay is the same as with the inlay. The only difference between the onlay and inlay is that the onlay restores a larger part of the tooth.
  • Oral Prophylaxis
    Is a cleaning procedure to remove plaque build-up, calculus, stains, to prevent gingivitis and provide good oral health. It can be done by a dentist or a dental hygienist with special ultrasonic scalers.
  • Orthodontic Treatment
    Orthodontic Treatment is a type of treatment that uses orthodontic devices to straighten malpositioned teeth and misaligned jaws. It is done by a specialist- orthodontist and it can have a great influence on a person’s appearance, oral functions, and health.
  • Orthodontics
    Orthodontics is a field in dentistry that studies, prevents and treats irregularities of the teeth and the jaws.
  • Panoramic x-ray
    The panoramic x-ray is a type of x-ray that shows the whole mouth including both jaws, teeth, sinuses, temporomandibular joints, nasal area. This is a very good diagnostic method, since it shows the whole mouth in a single x-ray.
  • Periapical x-ray
    Periapical x-ray is a type of x-ray that shows one to two teeth from their crown to their root and the surrounding bone. It is a very commonly used diagnostic measure.
  • Periapical
    The tissues that surround the root of a tooth.
  • Periodontal Disease
    Is an inflammatory disease that affects the periodontal tissues of a tooth.
  • Periodontal Ligament
    connective fibers that form the attachment of the tooth to the alveolar bone.
  • Periodontal treatment
    The procedures that are taken for the treatment of periodontal disease.
  • Periodontics
    Periodontics is a field in dentistry that studies the supportive tissues of a tooth and it provides diagnosis and treatment of the diseases that affect the supportive tissues.
  • Plaque
    Is a transparent, sticky, bacterial biofilm that forms on a tooth’s surface.
  • Premolars
    Also known as bicuspids, are teeth located between canines and molars.
  • Probe
    A dental instrument used in diagnostic measures.
  • Prosthodontic dentistry
    Prosthodontics is a field in dentistry that is specialized in procedures that include the making of crowns, bridges, inlays, onlays, veneers, partial and total dentures and implants.
  • Pulp capping
    Pulp capping is a dental procedure used to prevent complete exposure of the dental pulp.
  • Pulp
    Soft tissue of the tooth, located in the central inner part.
  • Pulpectomy
    Pulpectomy is a dental procedure where the whole dental pulp is removed, both the coronal and radicular part.
  • Pulpitis
    Pulpitis is an inflammatory process that affects the dental pulp.
  • Pulpotomy
    Pulpotomy is a dental procedure that includes removing only the coronal part of the dental pulp, followed by applying a therapeutic agent.
  • Polyether Impression
    Polyether Impression- a type of impression mostly used for getting accurate reproductions from the mouth usually during restorative procedures.
  • Replantation
    Is the process of placing a tooth that has been avulsed back into his previous position in the socket.
  • Root Canal Treatment
    Is the most common endodontic procedure. if the dental pulp is affected by bacteria from dental decay than it has to be treated endodontically by extirpating the pulp and performing a root canal treatment.
  • Root Planing and scaling
    Non-surgical treatment to remove plaque and calculus from the tooth’s surface.
  • Tartar
    Also known as calculus, is a hard, adherent deposit on the tooth’s surface.
  • Temporomandibular disorders (TMD)
    TMD’s are a group of disorders that affect the temporomandibular joint and the masticatory muscles.
  • Temporomandibular joint
    The temporomandibular joint consists of two joints that connect the lower jaw to the skull.
  • Three dimensional dental scan
    The 3D dental scan is a very new and sophisticated diagnostic method that gives a 3D image of the jaws.
  • Tooth Contouring and reshaping
    A cosmetic procedure to improve the look of the patient’s teeth. It is done by removing small amounts of enamel from the surface of the teeth.
  • Veneers
    Very thin pieces of material that are used to change the shape of a tooth’s surface.
  • Vita suprinity
    Vita suprinity is a new innovation in dental products that offers a glass ceramic material enriched with zirconia.
  • Wisdom teeth
    Wisdom teeth or third molars are supposed to erupt in the mouth from 17 to 25 years, but there is no general rule.
  • Xerostomia
    Xerostomia is the syndrome of dry mouth.