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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.

Restoration

A filling or crown used to repair a damaged tooth.

Retainer

  • Orthodontic Retainer: Appliance to stabilize teeth following orthodontic treatment.
  • Prosthodontic Retainer: A part of a fixed partial denture that attaches a pontic to the abutment tooth, implant abutment, or implant.

Ridge Augmentation

A procedure designed to increase the amount of bone height or width in the upper or lower jaw.

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.

Root Resection

The removal of one or more roots, retaining the crown of the tooth.

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.

Sulcus

The normal space found between the gum and tooth.

Suture

Stitch used to repair incision or wound.

Tartar

The common term for dental calculus.

Temporary Removable Denture

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

Temporomandibular (TMJ)

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 of bone.

Unerupted

Tooth/teeth that have not penetrated into the oral cavity

Veneer

In the construction of crowns or pontics, a layer of tooth-colored material, usually, but not limited to, composite, porcelain, ceramic or acrylic resin, attached to the surface by direct fusion, cementation, or mechanical retention; also refers to a restoration that is cemented to the facial surface of a tooth.

Wisdom Teeth

The third (last) molars.

X-Ray

Radiograph.

Xerostomia

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

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