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.

Denture Base

The part of the denture that holds the artificial teeth and fits over the gums.


A space between teeth.

Direct Restoration

A restoration fabricated inside the mouth.


Doctor of Medical Dentistry - a degree identical to a DDS.

Dry Socket

Localized inflammation of the tooth socket following extraction due to infection or loss of blood clot; osteitis.




Hard calcified tissue covering dentin of the crown of tooth.


A dental specialist who limits his/her practice to treating disease and injuries of the pulp and associated periradicular conditions.


Wearing down of tooth structure, caused by chemicals (acids).


When a tooth emerges or pushes through the gums.


Surgical removal of bone or tissue.


The process or act of removing a tooth or tooth parts.

Eye Teeth

The lay term for the canine (cuspid) teeth.


A lay term used for the restoring of lost tooth structure by using materials such as metal, alloy, plastic or porcelain.


An opening in the gum from which pus drains from an infection site, often called a gum boil.

Fixed Appliances

Orthodontic devices, commonly known as braces, that are bonded to the teeth to produce different tooth movements to help reposition teeth for orthodontic therapy.

Fixed Partial Denture

A fixed partial denture is a prosthetic replacement of one or more missing teeth cemented or attached to the abutment teeth or implant abutments adjacent to the space.

Flap Surgery

The reflection back of gum tissue to expose underlying tooth and bone structures for treatment.


The breaking of a part, especially of a bony structure; breaking of a tooth.

Free Gingival Graft

A gingival graft where the donor tissue is dissected and separated from the patient before being reattached in a different location.

Frenotomy with Fenestration

The severing of the loose muscle tissue that attaches from the upper or lower lips to the gum, or from the tongue to the floor of the mouth.


A loose bundle of muscles and fibers that connect from the upper or lower lips to the gum, or from the tongue to the floor of the mouth.

Full Denture

A removable dental appliance that replaces all upper or lower teeth

Full-Mouth X-Rays

A combination of 14 or more periapical and 4 bitewing films of the back teeth. This series of x-rays reveals all the teeth (their crowns and roots) and the alveolar bone around them.


The “fork-shaped” junction of the roots of a tooth.

General Anesthesia

A deep level of sedation in which patients lose consciousness, feel no pain, and have no memory of what is taking place around them.


Soft tissues overlying the crowns of unerupted teeth and encircling the necks of those that have erupted.

Gingival Grafting

The surgical addition of new gingiva where inadequate attached gingiva exists, which may include recovering roots exposed by recession.

Gingival Hyperplasia

An overgrowth of gingival tissues.

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