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Glossary of Terms

Source: American Dental Association

Dr. Orobitg wants you to understand the terms associated with your dental health. Education is very important to us, and we encourage you to ask questions about anything involved in your dental care you might not understand.

Periodontal Chart

The record of a patient’s periodontal health, which includes the depth of the sulcus or pocket around each tooth.

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.

Periodontist

A dental specialist whose practice is limited to the treatment of diseases of the supporting and surrounding tissues of the teeth.

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.

Pontic

A replacement tooth mounted on a fixed or removable appliance.

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.

Pre-molar (or bicuspid)

The side teeth behind the cuspids and in front of the 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.

Probing

The measurement of sulcus or pocket depth around a tooth.

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.

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.

Pyorrhea

An older term for periodontal (gum) disease.

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.

Regeneration Surgery

Surgery performed to reform hard or soft tissue lost due to periodontal disease.

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.

Resorb

To dissolve.

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