Dental Definitions Glossary

Click a word below to see the definition.

An infection that you can see on your gums, caused by too much bacteria inside of a tooth.

 Silver material placed in a tooth to fix a cavity.

Very tip or end of tooth root.

Removal of the nerve in a baby tooth that has been broken or has a large cavity.

Special treatment to help your child stay still during his or her dental care.

A tooth that is located between the front teeth and the back teeth.

The removal of tissue to test it for disease.

X-rays that are taken when the upper and lower teeth bite down together.  The X-ray will help find decay in between your teeth.

When someone grinds or clenches their teeth and jaw often.

A filling material placed in a broken down tooth before a crown is placed.

Also called tartar. A hardened area of plaque on teeth that needs to be removed by a dental professional.

A filling that is the same color as your teeth.

May also be called a "cap". A tooth-shaped cover placed over a tooth that is damaged from trauma or decay.

Occurs when minerals have been lost from the tooth, causing a white spot and it is the beginning of a cavity, but can be stopped with good home care and dental care.

 The dental clinic where you get all your routine dental care.

May be full/complete or partial. Removable false teeth that replace all or some of your teeth.

Material added to a denture to improve fit and help make them more comfortable.

Is decay on the upper front baby teeth usually caused by sleeping with a bottle. This is also known as baby bottle tooth decay.

An emergency is a serious problem that needs immediate care. It could be an injury or sudden severe condition. Some examples of emergency situations are: Bad infection, bad abscesses (an abscess is a blister on your gum tissue), severe tooth pain (pain that does not stop when you take over-the-counter pain killers), a tooth that is knocked out. Emergency dental care is available any time of the day or night, contact your primary dental provider if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

Also called root canal therapy. Dental treatment which includes removal of a damaged tooth nerve. Once the damaged nerve is removed, the area is filled and sealed.

Type of dentist who treats damage or disease of the nerve of the tooth.

Removal of a tooth.

Material placed in a tooth to fix a cavity.

A small, removable item used to replace missing teeth.

A natural mineral placed on teeth to keep them healthy and strong by preventing tooth decay. Can be placed on teeth using a foam, gel or vanish. It also may be found in toothpaste,  floss and mouth rinse.

Is used only under special circumstances, puts you into a deep sleep for dental treatment.

 A dentist who sees patients of all ages.

 Tissue around teeth.

Also called periodontal disease. An infection deep in the gums around a tooth that can cause bone and tooth loss.

Removable false teeth that replace all or some missing teeth and are placed right after the teeth are removed.

 A tooth that is still under your gums.

Pictures taken of teeth and inside the mouth with a special camera.

Large back tooth.

 A gas used to help a patient relax for dental treatment.

A member of the dental team shows patients how to take care of the teeth and gums.

Under special circumstances, it is a medication taken by mouth to help patients relax for dental treatment.

A type of dentist who performs surgery on the mouth, including extractions.

Urgent or emergency care that temporarily helps make the pain or problem in your mouth or teeth feel better until the problem can be completely fixed. This may include placing a temporary filling or draining of an oral infection.

Special X-ray that takes a picture of your whole mouth, including all teeth and jaws.

Type of dentist that has extra training and provides dental care to infants, children and teens.

 An X-ray that shows the whole tooth above and below the gums.

Swelling of your gums around a far back molar, or wisdom tooth, that cannot fully erupt or emerge through the gums.

Also called scaling and root planing or "SRP". A special type of deep cleaning for teeth that cleans below the gums when someone has periodontal disease.

 Also called gum disease. An infection deep in the gums around a tooth that can cause bone and tooth loss.

A follow-up visit to clean the teeth and check the health of your gums after periodontal therapy or scaling root planning when gum disease is present.

Sticky material that forms on teeth. It is made of bacteria and food. It needs to be removed by brushing and flossing or it may cause tooth decay or gum disease.

Special treatment that can help relieve pain before a root canal is done on the tooth.
 

Material added to a denture to improve fit and help make them more comfortable.

 Also called endodontic therapy. Dental treatment which includes removal of tooth nerve and follow-up dental care.

Also called periodontal therapy. A special type of deep cleaning for teeth that cleans below the gums when someone has periodontal disease.

A plastic coating placed in the grooves of back teeth to keep them clear of food and plaque and lower the chance of getting a cavity.

A second opinion is a visit with another dentist to see what is wrong.

There are different types of sedation, see oral sedation or general anesthesia.

A temporary filling placed on a damaged or decayed tooth to help with pain and/or protect the tooth from further damage until it can be fixed.

 A device to keep the space open where baby teeth are missing. You keep this until the adult teeth come in.

 Tooth-shaped cover made out of stainless steel, placed over a tooth that is badly damaged from trauma or decay.

Also called calculus. A hardened area of plaque on teeth that needs to be removed by a dental professional

The breakdown of the tooth structure due to acid producing bacteria which causes a hole.

The breakdown of the tooth structure due to acid producing bacteria which causes a hole.

The breakdown of the tooth structure due to acid producing bacteria which causes a hole.

Urgent dental care is dental care that needs prompt, but not immediate treatment. Some examples of urgent situations are: A toothache, swollen gums, a lost filling. Some dental services require prior authorization from your dental plan, but emergency or urgent dental care does not. Contact your primary dental provider if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

The farthest back molar. May or may not erupt.