Postal Code
Dental Needs

 

Abrasion

Removal of tooth structure due to rubbing and scraping (e.g. incorrect brushing method). Abrasion is the loss of tooth structure by mechanical forces from a foreign element. If this force begins at the cementoenamel junction (it is the location where the enamel, which covers the crown of a tooth, and the cementum, which covers the root of a tooth, meet), then progression of tooth loss can be rapid since enamel is very thin in this region of the tooth. Once past the enamel, abrasion quickly destroys the softer dentin and cementum structures.

Possible sources of this wearing of tooth are toothbrushes, toothpicks, floss, and any dental appliance frequently set in and removed from the mouth. The appearance is commonly described as V-shaped when caused by excessive pressure during tooth brushing.

The teeth most commonly affected are premolars and canines.

 

Abscess

A collection of pus. Usually forms because of infection. A tooth abscess or root abscess is pus enclosed in the tissues of the jaw bone at the tip of an infected tooth. Usually the abscess originates from a bacterial infection that has accumulated in the soft pulp of the tooth.

Abscesses typically originate from dead pulp tissue, usually caused by untreated tooth decay, cracked teeth or extensive periodontal disease. A failed root canal treatment may also create a similar abscess.

It may also develop from bacteria entering a tooth filling and multiplying. A pus taste may also develop.

There are three types of dental abscess. A gingival abscess involves only the gum tissue, without affecting either the tooth or the periodontal ligament. A periapical abscess starts in the dental pulp. A periodontal abscess begins in the supporting bone and tissue structures of the teeth.

 

Amalgam

A silver filling material. Dental amalgam is the most commonly used dental restorative material used for dental fillings. First introduced in France in the early 19th century, it contains a mixture of mercury with at least one other metal. Amalgam has been the restorative method of choice for many years due to its low cost, ease of application, strength, durability, and bacteriostatic effects. Factors that have led to recent decline in use are a lingering concern about detrimental health effects, aesthetics, and environmental pollution. The aesthetic issue is because the metallic color does not blend with the natural tooth color. This is especially a concern when used on front teeth, but it can be addressed using alternative dental materials. The environmental concerns are regarding mercury emissions during preparation and from waste amalgam upon cremation of deceased individuals.

 

Anaesthetic

An agent that causes temporary loss of sensation/feeling. An anaesthetic is a drug that causes anesthesia—reversible loss of sensation. They contrast with analgesics (painkillers), which relieve pain without eliminating sensation. These drugs are generally administered to facilitate surgery. A wide variety of drugs are used in modern anesthetic practice. Many are rarely used outside of anesthesia, although others are used commonly by all disciplines including dentistry.

Anesthetics are categorized in to two classes: general anesthetics, which cause a reversible loss of consciousness, and local anesthetics, which cause a reversible loss of sensation for a limited region of the body while maintaining consciousness. Combinations of anesthetics are sometimes used for their synergistic and additive therapeutic effects.

 

Anterior

The front position.

 

Apex

The end of the root. The apical foramen is an anatomical term that describes the opening at the apex of the root of a tooth through which the nerve and blood vessels that supply the dental pulp pass. Thus it represents the junction of the pulp and the periodontal tissue. Apex location is a method of determining the length of the root canal of the tooth – manually or by mechanical canal instrument (by passing low intensity electrical current). Thus the electrical characteristics of the tooth structure are measured and the exact position of the instrument in the tooth is determined. When the tool tip touches the apex, the instrument signals that the apical foramen is reached. Whenever the channel instrument is pulled out its length could be measured to determine the depth of the root canal and all other dental tools could be adjusted to this length.

 

Attrition

Wear of teeth due to activities such as chewing. Attrition is the loss of teeth structure by mechanical forces from opposing teeth. Attrition initially affects the enamel and, if unchecked, may proceed to the underlying dentin. Once past the enamel, attrition quickly destroys the softer dentin. Erosion is a very important contributing factor to the loss of tooth substance by attrition.

The most common cause of attrition is bruxism. Functional habits are those such as chewing and swallowing, which usually puts very little force on opposing teeth. Perverse habits, such as clenching and clicking the teeth together nervously, place greater amounts of forces on opposing teeth and begin to wear the teeth. As expected, wear usually begins on the incisal or occlusal surfaces.

 

Bitewing

A kind of dental x-ray which is taken with the teeth bite together. The main function of this kind of x-ray is to detect cavity in between teeth and height of bone support. Dental radiographs, commonly referred to as X-ray films, or informally, X-rays, are pictures of the teeth, bones, and surrounding soft tissues to screen for and help identify problems with the teeth, mouth, and jaw. X-ray pictures can show cavities, cancerous or benign masses, hidden dental structures (such as wisdom teeth), and bone loss that cannot be seen during a visual examination. Dental X-rays may also be done as follow-up after dental treatments.

A radiographic image is formed by a controlled burst of X-ray radiation which penetrates oral structures at different levels, depending on varying anatomical densities, before striking the film or sensor. Teeth appear lighter because less radiation penetrates them to reach the film. Dental caries, infections and other changes in the bone density, and the periodontal ligament, appear darker because X-rays readily penetrate these less dense structures. Dental restorations (fillings, crowns) may appear lighter or darker, depending on the density of the material.

 

Bleaching

Whitening of teeth. Dental bleaching, also known as tooth whitening, is a common procedure in general dentistry but most especially in the field of cosmetic dentistry. A child’s deciduous teeth are generally whiter than the adult teeth that follow. As a person ages the adult teeth often become darker due to changes in the mineral structure of the tooth, as the enamel becomes less porous. Teeth can also become stained by bacterial pigments, foodstuffs and tobacco. Certain antibiotic medications (like tetracycline) can also cause teeth stains or a reduction in the brilliance of the enamel.

 

Bonding

Bonding is the process in which tooth coloured materials are adhered (bonded) to the tooth. Dental bonding is a dental procedure in which a dentist applies a tooth-colored resin material (a durable plastic material) and hardens it with a special light. This ultimately “bonds” the material to the tooth and improves the overall appearance of teeth. Tooth bonding techniques have various clinical applications including operative dentistry and preventive dentistry as well as cosmetic and pediatric dentistry, prosthodontics, and orthodontics.

 

Bridge

A set of crowns fixed inside the mouth in order to replace more than one cracked or missing teeth. A bridge, also known as a fixed partial denture, is a dental restoration used to replace a missing tooth by joining permanently to adjacent teeth or dental implants.

There are different types of bridges, depending on how they are fabricated and the way they anchor to the adjacent teeth. Conventionally, bridges are made using the indirect method of restoration however; bridges can be fabricated directly in the mouth using such materials as composite resin.

 

Bruxism

Teeth grinding. Bruxism is also called “gnashing of teeth” is characterized by the grinding of the teeth and is typically accompanied by the clenching of the jaw. It is an oral perverse activity that occurs in most humans at some time in their lives. In most people, bruxism is mild enough not to be a health problem. While bruxism may be a diurnal or nocturnal activity, it is bruxism during sleep that causes the majority of health issues and can even occur during short naps. Bruxism is one of the most common sleep disorders.

 

Canine

The third tooth from the middle of the jaw. There are totally 4 of them. They are the longest teeth in human. In human oral anatomy, the canine teeth, also called cuspids, dogteeth, fangs, or (in the case of those of the upper jaw) eye teeth, are relatively long, pointed teeth. However, they can appear more flattened, causing them to resemble incisors and leading them to be called incisiform.

 

Canker Sore

An ulceration with yellow base and red border in mouth. It can be caused by trauma or herpes simplex virus. An aphthous ulcer also known as a canker sore, is a type of mouth ulcer, which presents as a painful open sore inside the mouth or upper throat characterized by a break in the mucous membrane. Its cause is unknown, but they are not contagious. The condition is also known as aphthous stomatitis, and alternatively as Sutton’s Disease, especially in the case of major, multiple, or recurring ulcers.

The term aphtha means ulcer; it has been used for many years to describe areas of ulceration on mucous membranes.

 

Caries

Tooth decay. Dental caries, also known as tooth decay or a cavity, is a disease where bacterial processes damage hard tooth structure (enamel, dentin, and cementum) These tissues progressively break down, producing dental caries (cavities, holes in the teeth). Two groups of bacteria are responsible for initiating caries: Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus. If left untreated, the disease can lead to pain, tooth loss, infection, and, more complex health problems. Today, caries remains one of the most common diseases throughout the world. Cariology is the study of dental caries.

 

Cavity

A hole on the tooth. Dental cavity, also known as tooth decay or a caries, is a disease where bacterial processes damage hard tooth structure (enamel, dentin, and cementum) These tissues progressively break down, producing dental caries (cavities, holes in the teeth). Two groups of bacteria are responsible for initiating caries: Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus. If left untreated, the disease can lead to pain, tooth loss, infection, and, more complex health problems. Today, dental cavities remain one of the most common diseases throughout the world.

 

Cast

A model of teeth. A cast is made by taking a dental impression to get an accurate representation of part or all of a person’s dentition and other areas of the mouth. The dental impression forms an imprint (i.e. a ‘negative’ mould) of those teeth and gums, which can then be used to make a cast or ‘positive’ model of the dentition. This may be used for the fabrication of dentures, crowns or other prostheses.

An impression is carried out by placing a viscous liquid material into the mouth usually in a customized tray. The material then sets to become an elastic solid, and when removed from the mouth retains the shape of the teeth.

 

Cementation

The process of “glue” the appliance on the associated area. It is the process by which substances that are placed in the mouth as a viscous liquid and set to a hard mass; used in restorative and orthodontic dental procedures as luting (cementing) agents, as protective, insulating, or sedative bases, and as restorative materials.

 

Chlorhexidine

An anti-microbial agent. It is available in many forms such as gels and rinses. It is an effective agent in controlling gum diseases. It is often used as an active ingredient in mouthwash designed to reduce dental plaque and oral bacteria. Chlorhexidine can thus be used to improve bad breath. It has been shown to have an immediate bactericidal action and a prolonged bacteriostatic action due to absorption onto the pellicle-coated enamel surface. Chlorhexidine-based products are commonly used to combat or prevent gum diseases such as gingivitis.

 

Clasp

A metal arm extends from a removable partial denture. It helps to hold on to natural tooth structure and thus provide anchorage for the denture. Metal devices for fastening together two or more parts of dental prostheses for stabilizing or retaining them by attachment to abutment teeth. The clasp works because the teeth have a convex surface contour. The clasp, having a flexible and elastic nature, can spring over the height of contour of each tooth as the denture is placed in the mouth; the spring-like action of this clasp allows the denture to resist falling out.

 

Cold Sore

An ulcer or blister on most commonly on lip. A form of herpes simplex. A small sore situated on the face or in the mouth that causes pain, burning, or itching before bursting and crusting over. The favourite locations are on the lips, chin or cheeks and in the nostrils. Less frequented sites are the gums or roof of the mouth (the palate).

Cold sores, also commonly called fever blisters, are caused by herpes simplex virus type 1. The virus lies latent (dormant) in the body and is reawakened (reactivated) by factors such as stress, sunburn, or fever from a wide range of infectious diseases including colds. Recurrences are less common after age 35. There is no cure for fever blisters. Medications that can relieve some of the pain and discomfort include ointments that numb the blisters, antibiotics that control secondary bacterial infections, and ointments that soften the crests of the sores

 

Composite

White filling. Dental composite resins are types of synthetic resins which are used in dentistry as restorative material or adhesives. Synthetic resins evolved as restorative materials since they were insoluble, aesthetic, and insensitive to dehydration and were inexpensive. It is easy to manipulate them as well. Composite resins are most commonly composed of Bis-GMA monomers or some Bis-GMA analog, a filler material such as silica and in most current applications, a photoinitiator. Dimethacrylates are also commonly added to achieve certain physical properties such as flow-ability. Further tailoring of physical properties is achieved by formulating unique concentrations of each constituent. Unlike Amalgam which essentially just fills a hole, composite cavity restorations when used with dentin and enamel bonding techniques restore the tooth back to near its original physical integrity.

 

Cross-Bite

An abnormal bite relationship of upper and lower jaw. The lower teeth/tooth aligns toward the check/ lip side more than the upper teeth/tooth. An abnormal relation of one or more teeth of one arch to the opposing tooth or teeth of the other arch, caused by deviation of tooth position or abnormal jaw position.

 

Crown (porcelain/plastic/metal)

A crown is almost like a “cap” on a tooth. It covers the tooth partially or totally above the gum to restore its function and outlook. A crown is a type of dental restoration which completely caps or encircles a tooth or dental implant. Crowns are often needed when a large cavity threatens the ongoing health of a tooth. They are typically bonded to the tooth using a dental cement. Crowns can be made from many materials, which are usually fabricated using indirect methods. Crowns are often used to improve the strength or appearance of teeth. While unarguably beneficial to dental health, the procedure and materials can be relatively expensive.

The most common method of crowning a tooth involves using a dental impression of a prepared tooth by a dentist to fabricate the crown outside of the mouth.

 

Decay

The rotten part of the tooth. Tooth decay also known as dental cavity or a caries, is a disease where bacterial processes damage hard tooth structure (enamel, dentin, and cementum) These tissues progressively break down, producing tooth decay (cavities, holes in the teeth). Two groups of bacteria are responsible for initiating caries: Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus. If left untreated, the disease can lead to pain, tooth loss, infection, and, more complex health problems. Today, dental cavities remain one of the most common diseases throughout the world.

 

Deciduous Teeth

Baby teeth. Deciduous teeth, otherwise known as milk teeth, baby teeth, temporary teeth and primary teeth, are the first set of teeth in the growth development of humans and many other mammals. They develop during the embryonic stage of development and erupt—that is, they become visible in the mouth—during infancy. They are usually lost and replaced by permanent teeth, but in the absence of permanent replacements, they can remain functional for many years.

 

Dentition

The position, type, and number of teeth in upper and lower jaw. Dentition pertains to the development of teeth and their arrangement in the mouth. In particular, the characteristic arrangement, kind, and number of teeth at a given age.

 

Denture (Immediate/complete/partial) (over-denture, temporary)

An artificial object to replace missing teeth and their neighbouring structures. There are many different types of denture to satisfy different treatment requirements and patient preferences. Dentures are prosthetic devices constructed to replace missing teeth, and which are supported by surrounding soft and hard tissues of the oral cavity. Conventional dentures are removable; however there are many different denture designs, some which rely on bonding or clasping onto teeth or dental implants. There are two main categories of dentures, depending on whether they are used to replace missing teeth on the mandibular arch or the maxillary arch.

 

Denturist

The person who specializes in fabricating dentures. Denturist is not responsible for making any type of diagnosis or carrying out any other treatment (e.g. Removing teeth). A denturist, clinical dental technician or is a member of the oral health care team who provides an oral health examination, takes impressions of the surrounding oral tissues, constructs and delivers removable oral prosthesis (dentures and partial dentures) directly to the patient. They differ from prosthodontists, who are qualified specialist dentists for making fixed or removable appliances for patients.

 

Desensitization

A procedure to reduce the sensitivity of teeth.

 

Diastema

The space in between two adjacent teeth. In humans, the term is most commonly applied to an open space between the upper incisors (front teeth). It happens when there is an unequal relationship between the size of the teeth and the jaw.

Diastema is sometimes caused or exacerbated by the action of a labial frenulum (the tissue connecting the lip to the gum) causing high mucosal attachment and less attached keratinized tissue which is more prone to recession or by tongue thrusting, which can push the teeth apart.

 

Endodontics

A department of dentistry involves diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental pulp (where the nerves and blood vessels inside the tooth). In other words, an endodontics is a root canal specialisation. With the lengthy education that an endodontist receives, they are able to perform all aspects of root canal therapy including routine as well as complex root canals, re-treatments and endodontic surgery.

 

Endodontic Therapy

A treatment for the root canal inside the tooth. Commonly known as root canal treatment, endodontic therapy is a sequence of treatment for the pulp of a tooth which results in the elimination of infection and protection of the decontaminated tooth from future microbial invasion. Root canals and their associated pulp chamber are the physical hollows within a tooth that are naturally inhabited by nerve tissue, blood vessels and other cellular entities. Endodontic therapy involves the removal of these structures, the subsequent cleaning, shaping, and decontamination of the hollows with tiny files and irrigating solutions, and the obturation (filling) of the decontaminated canals with an inert filling such as gutta percha and typically a eugenol-based cement.

 

Eruption

The process of the tooth appearing in the mouth. When a tooth or teeth come through the gum line it is known as tooth eruption and is a normal process of the body. The first set of teeth a child has is called the primary or deciduous teeth. As a child loses the primary teeth the second set of teeth known as the permanent or secondary teeth come through the gum line. Teeth are named for their location in the mouth and the function they serve. Incisors cut the food and canines tear the food. Premolars crush the food and permanent molars grind the food.

The typical age for tooth eruption can vary widely from child to child. Usually the first teeth erupt at about 6 to 8 months of age.

 

Excision

The action of cutting something off.

 

Filling

A restoration placed on a tooth to restore its function and appearance. A dental restoration or dental filling is a dental restorative material used to restore the function, integrity and morphology of missing tooth structure. The structural loss typically results from caries or external trauma. It is also lost intentionally during tooth preparation to improve the aesthetics or the physical integrity of the intended restorative material. Dental restoration also refers to the replacement of missing tooth structure that is supported by dental implants.

Dental restorations can be divided into two broad types: direct restorations and indirect restorations. All dental restorations can be further classified by their location and size. A root canal filling is a restorative technique used to fill the space where the dental pulp normally resides.

 

Floss

A thread/tape goes in between teeth for cleaning. Dental floss is either a bundle of thin nylon filaments or a plastic (Teflon or polyethylene) ribbon used to remove food and dental plaque from teeth. The floss is gently inserted between the teeth and scraped along the teeth sides, especially close to the gums. Dental floss may be flavored or unflavored, and waxed or non-waxed. An alternative tool to achieve the same effect is the inter-dental brush.

 

Fluoride

A compound of fluorine (an element) which is put in different forms such as water, gels, rinses to strengthen up teeth. Fluoride therapy is the delivery of fluoride to the teeth topically or systemically in order to prevent tooth decay (dental caries) which results in cavities. Most commonly, fluoride is applied topically to the teeth using gels, varnishes, toothpaste/dentifrices or mouth rinse. Systemic delivery involves fluoride supplementation using water, salt, tablets or drops which are swallowed. Tablets or drops are rarely used where public water supplies are fluoridated.

 

Fluoride Treatment

Teeth treat with fluoride agents like gel or rinse. It helps to prevent tooth decay. Fluoride Treatment is the delivery of fluoride to the teeth topically or systemically in order to prevent tooth decay (dental caries) which results in cavities. Most commonly, fluoride is applied topically to the teeth using gels, varnishes, toothpaste/dentifrices or mouth rinse. Systemic delivery involves fluoride supplementation using water, salt, tablets or drops which are swallowed. Tablets or drops are rarely used where public water supplies are fluoridated.

 

Gingivitis

The mildest form of gum disease: inflammation of gum. The earliest sign is bleeding gum. Gingivitis (“inflammation of the gum tissue”) is a term used to describe non-destructive periodontal disease. The most common form of gingivitis is in response to bacterial biofilms (also called plaque) adherent to tooth surfaces, termed plaque-induced gingivitis, and is the most common form of periodontal disease. In the absence of treatment, gingivitis may progress to periodontitis, which is a destructive form of periodontal disease.

 

Impaction

A condition that a tooth is not able to come in normally or stuck underneath another tooth or bone. Impacted and embedded teeth are the two main types of un-erupted teeth found in the mouth, and can sometimes be confused with each other. In cases of both impacted and embedded teeth, the teeth remain below the surface of the gum and sometimes bone, rather than erupting into an exposed position within the mouth; however, the reason for the failure to erupt differs. Impacted teeth result from a situation in which an un-erupted tooth is wedged against another tooth or teeth or otherwise directed so that it cannot erupt normally. In contrast, an embedded tooth is an un-erupted tooth that is covered, usually completely, with bone. The former is “physically” blocked in its path of eruption, while the latter is compromised by its lack of eruptive force often without known etiology.

 

Implant

A device (usually “screw-like”) put in the jaw bone to support a false tooth, a denture or a bridge. Virtually all dental implants placed today are root-form endosseous implants. In other words, virtually all dental implants placed in the 21st century appear similar to an actual tooth root (and thus possess a “root-form”) and are placed within the bone. Prior to the advent of root-form endosseous implants, most implants were either blade endosseous implants, in that the shape of the metal piece placed within the bone resembled a flat blade, or sub-periosteal implants, in which a framework was constructed to lie upon and was attached with screws to the exposed bone of the jaws.

Dental implants can be used to support a number of dental prostheses, including crowns, implant-supported bridges or dentures.

 

Impression

A mold taken by some jelly-like material loaded on a tray. A dental impression may be described as an accurate representation of part or all of a person’s dentition and other areas of the mouth. The dental impression forms an imprint (i.e. a ‘negative’ mould) of those teeth and gums, which can then be used to make a cast or ‘positive’ model of the dentition. This may be used for the fabrication of dentures, crowns or other prostheses.

An impression is carried out by placing a viscous liquid material into the mouth usually in a customized tray. The material then sets to become an elastic solid, and when removed from the mouth retains the shape of the teeth. Common materials used for dental impressions are sodium alginate, polyether and silicones – both condensation-cured silicones and addition-cured silicones, such as polyvinyl siloxane. Historically plaster of Paris, zinc oxide eugenol and agar have been used.

 

Incisal

The cutting edge of front teeth. Relating to the cutting edges of the incisor and cuspid teeth.

 

Incisor

The four upper and lower front teeth. Human incisors have thin, blade-like crowns which are adapted for the cutting and shearing of food. There are two incisors per quadrant, four per arch. The first incisor, the central incisor, is next to the midline. The second incisor, the lateral incisor is next to it.

 

Inlay

A restoration (usually is gold, composite or porcelain ceramics) fabricated in the lab cements on tooth like a missing puzzle. It helps to restore the normal function and outlook of the tooth. In dentistry, an inlay is an indirect restoration (filling) consisting of a solid substance (as gold, composite or porcelain ceramics) fitted to a cavity in a tooth and cemented into place. An onlay is the same as an inlay, except that it extends to replace a cusp. Crowns are onlays which completely cover all surfaces of a tooth.

 

Lingual

The tooth surface next to your tongue or things mounted on the tooth surfaces next to your tongue. Lingual braces are aesthetically appealing. They are available in translucent white to blend with the teeth making them less visible than traditional braces. Lingual braces are applied behind the teeth as compared to metal or ceramic braces which are applied to the front of your teeth. Often called “Invisible Braces”, they are the best and only non-visible form of fixed orthodontic therapy. Although lingual braces are more expensive they offer a highly cosmetic alternative to those patients who otherwise would not consider treatment.

 

Mesial

The side of the tooth towards the middle of the jaw. Mesial refers to the direction towards the anterior midline in a dental arch, as opposed to distal, which refers to the direction towards the last tooth in each quadrant. Each tooth can be described as having a mesial surface and, for posterior teeth, a mesiobuccal (MB) and a mesiolingual (ML) corner or cusp.

 

Milk Teeth

Baby teeth. Deciduous teeth, otherwise known as milk teeth, baby teeth, temporary teeth and primary teeth, are the first set of teeth in the growth development of humans and many other mammals. They develop during the embryonic stage of development and erupt—that is, they become visible in the mouth—during infancy. They are usually lost and replaced by permanent teeth, but in the absence of permanent replacements, they can remain functional for many years.

 

Molar

The last 3 upper and lower teeth on both side of the mouth. These are the most complex of teeth in our mouths. Adult humans have twelve molars, in four groups of three at the back of the mouth. The third, rearmost molar in each group is called a wisdom tooth. It is the last tooth to appear, breaking through the surface of the gum at about the age of twenty, although this varies from individual to individual. Ethnicity can also have an impact on the age at which this occurs, with statistical variations between groups.

The types of molar in the human mouth are: maxillary first molars, maxillary second molars, and maxillary third molars (mandibular first molars, mandibular second molars, and mandibular third molars).

 

Mouthguard

A device to be worn in the mouth. Depends on the design of it, it prevents injury on teeth and/or jaw during teeth grinding or sport events. A mouthguard (also known as a mouth protector, mouth piece or gumshield) is a protective device for the mouth that covers the teeth and gums to prevent and reduce injury to the teeth, arches, lips and gums. Mouthguards are most often used to prevent injury in contact sports, as a treatment for bruxism or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems, or as part of certain dental procedures, such as tooth bleaching.

 

Nightguard

A mouthguard which is worn at night time. A nightguard, or night guard, is an appliance much like a retainer that people put in their mouths to protect their teeth while they are sleeping. This device is commonly used by people who suffer from bruxism, or excessive night time tooth grinding or clenching. This grinding and clenching puts pressure on the jaw, which can cause temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems, severe headaches, ear pain, and neck pain as well as causing excessive wear to the teeth.

 

Occlusal

The biting surface of the back teeth. Occlusion, in a dental context, means simply the relationship of contact between teeth. More technically, it is the relationship between the upper and the lower teeth when they approach each other, as occurs during chewing or at rest.

 

Occlusion

The way how the upper and lower teeth close together. Occlusion, in a dental context, means simply the contact between teeth. More technically, it is the relationship between the upper and the lower teeth when they approach each other, as occurs during chewing or at rest.

 

Onlay

A restoration covers the entire biting surface of a tooth. In dentistry, an inlay is an indirect restoration (filling) consisting of a solid substance (as gold, composite or porcelain ceramics) fitted to a cavity in a tooth and cemented into place. An onlay is the same as an inlay, except that it extends to replace a cusp. Crowns are onlays which completely cover all surfaces of a tooth.

 

Open bite

The situation that the upper teeth not able to contact the opposing lower teeth. An open bite is one dental disorder that is more often than not caused by the patient himself. The basic issue is that the front teeth, both upper and lower are forced outwards to an extent that the teeth of the upper and the lower jaw do not touch each other, even when the mouth is closed. This has several effects. First, and most prominently, the patient’s smile is adversely affected. Often this results in loss of self esteem. The patient could also develop a lisp which, though cute when he is a child, is not so attractive in later.

 

Orthodontics

A special field in dentistry which involves diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of bite abnormalities or facial irregularities. Orthodontics is the specialty of dentistry that is concerned with the study and treatment of malocclusions (improper bites), which may be a result of tooth irregularity, disproportionate jaw relationships, or both. Orthodontic treatment can focus on dental displacement only, or can deal with the control and modification of facial growth. In the latter case it is better defined as “dentofacial orthopaedics”. Orthodontic treatment can be carried out for purely aesthetic reasons with regards to improving the general appearance of patients’ teeth. However, there are orthodontists who work on reconstructing the entire face rather than focusing exclusively on teeth. Edward Angle was the first orthodontist—the first dentist to limit his practice to orthodontics only. He is considered the “Father of Modern Orthodontics.”

Overbite

The overlap of upper teeth and lower teeth when they close together. Overbite refers to the extent of vertical overlap of the maxillary central incisors over the mandibular central incisors; it does not refer to a lower jaw being too far behind the upper jaw (retrognathia) or a misalignment of the teeth.

 

Overhang

The portion of filling material that hangs beyond the border of the cavity. An overhang occurs when a dental restoration (e.g. filling, crown, inlay, onlay, veneer) does not blend smoothly with the tooth’s natural contour at the tooth-restoration interface (“margin”). Overhangs are undesirable because they are difficult to clean, and food and bacteria (“plaque”) tends to accumulate under them. This situation often leads to localized inflammation of the periodontal tissues, and secondary tooth decay (recurrent caries).

 

Palate

The roof of the mouth. Roof of the mouth, separating the oral and nasal cavities. The front two-thirds, the hard palate, is a plate of bone covered by mucous membrane. It gives the tongue a surface against which to make speech sounds and shape food during chewing and keeps pressures in the mouth from closing off the nasal passage. The flexible soft palate behind it is made of muscle and connective tissue and ends in the uvula, a fleshy projection. It rises to block the nasal cavity and upper pharynx off from the mouth and lower pharynx for swallowing or to create a vacuum for drinking. Cleft palate, a congenital disorder involving a gap in the palate, can be corrected surgically.

 

Panoramic Radiograph

An x-ray film to obtain the wide view of upper and lower jaw and their associated structures.

 

Perforation

An opening on a tooth or other oral structure.

 

Periapical

The surrounding of the bottom of the root of a tooth. A periapical abscess is the result of a chronic, localized infection located at the tip, or apex, of the root of a tooth. To achieve resolution, endodontic therapy must be performed to debride the root canal or canals and remove pathogens. In oral hygiene and dentistry, debridement refers to the removal of plaque and calculus that have accumulated on the teeth. Debridement in this case may be performed using ultrasonic instruments, which fracture the calculus, thereby facilitating its removal, as well as hand tools, including periodontal scaler and curettes, or through the use of chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide.

 

Periodontics

A specialty of dentistry involves diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of supporting unit of teeth. Periodontics is the specialty of dentistry that studies supporting structures of teeth, diseases, and conditions that affect them. The supporting tissues are known as the periodontium, which includes the gingiva (gums), alveolar bone, cementum, and the periodontal ligament. A professional who practises this speciality field of dentistry is known as a periodontist.

 

Permanent Teeth

Adult’s teeth. The first permanent tooth usually comes in around 6 years old. Permanent teeth are the second set of teeth formed in humans. There are thirty-two permanent teeth, consisting of six maxillary and six mandibular molars, four maxillary and four mandibular premolars, two maxillary and two mandibular canines, four maxillary and four mandibular incisors.

The first permanent tooth usually appears in the mouth at around six years of age, and the mouth will then be in a transition period with both deciduous teeth and permanent teeth (mixed dentition) until the last deciduous tooth is lost. The first of the adult teeth to erupt are the permanent first molars that come through the gums at the back, right behind the last ‘milk’ molars. These first permanent molars are the most important teeth for the correct development of an adult dentition. Up to the age of thirteen years, twenty-eight of the thirty-two permanent teeth will appear.

 

Pin

A piece of “nail-like” metal. It usually is used for better retention of a filling. Dentists removing a large amount of tooth decay may need to insert a thin shaft called a pin before they can build the tooth back up. A larger shaft, called a post, is often used after a root canal and is an anchor for a tooth crown.

 

Polish

A process to make the tooth or filling or other denture smooth and glossy. The purpose of the polishing is basically to leave the surfaces of the teeth smooth and glossy so that bacteria are unable to stick to them and you have a better chance of keeping the teeth clean during your regular home care. Also it leaves your teeth feeling smooth and clean, which is nice when you run your tongue around them.

 

Pontic

The false tooth in a bridge or denture to replace the missing tooth. Pontic refers to a replacement artificial tooth or teeth that are mounted on a fixed or removal dental appliance. One of the main components of a dental bridge the pontic is attached to two surrounding abutments (dental crowns) to create a seamless impression of a complete set of healthy teeth. Pontics are used in both partial and complete dentures.

 

Post

A pin which can be made with different materials such as metal or carbon. Its function usually is to support a big build-up on a tooth. A post is a rod that a dentist has positioned and then cemented in the canal space in a tooth’s root. Typically, but not always, dental posts are made out of metal.

Posts are usually only placed in those teeth which have extensive portions of their natural tooth structure missing. Dentists know, in general that the greater the amounts of a tooth that can extend up into the center of the dental crown, the more stable the crown will be. In those cases where a great deal of tooth structure is missing a dentist will build-up the height of the tooth using dental filling material. A dental post provides a way for the dentist to securely anchor this filling material core to the tooth.

 

Posterior

Locate at the back. Posterior, which refers to the directions towards the back of an individual’s head. The term anterior teeth refers to incisors and canines, as opposed to premolars and molars, which are posterior teeth.

 

Pre-Medication

Medication needs to be taken before treatment. Premedication in dentistry is used as a preventative measure against bacterial endocarditis occurring from a patient undergoing dental procedures. Bacterial endocarditis is a very serious, and potentially fatal, infection of the heart. Premedication, in the form of an antibiotic, is prescribed by the dentist for the patient to take prior to their appointment.

 

Premolar

The two teeth located in front of the molar. The premolar teeth or bicuspids are transitional teeth located between the canine and molar teeth. In humans, there are two premolars per quadrant, making eight premolars total in the mouth. They have at least two cusps. Premolars can be considered as a ‘transitional tooth’ during chewing, or mastication. It has properties of both the anterior canines and posterior molars, and so food can be transferred from the canines to the premolars and finally to the molars for grinding, instead of directly from the canines to the molars.

The premolars in humans are the maxillary first premolar, maxillary second premolar, mandibular first premolar, and the mandibular second premolar.

 

Primary Teeth

Baby teeth. Deciduous teeth, otherwise known as milk teeth, baby teeth, temporary teeth and primary teeth, are the first set of teeth in the growth development of humans and many other mammals. They develop during the embryonic stage of development and erupt—that is, they become visible in the mouth—during infancy. They are usually lost and replaced by permanent teeth, but in the absence of permanent replacements, they can remain functional for many years.

 

Prophylaxis/prophy

The procedure of teeth polishing. It also means the prevention of diseases. Prophylaxis refers to the cleaning of teeth as a preventative measure against periodontal (gum) disease and tooth decay. This treatment can include plaque detection the removal of plaque and tartar in the supragingival (upper) and subgingival (lower) levels of the gum line the application of caries-preventing agents checking for signs of food impaction and the checking of restorations and prostheses.

 

Prosthesis

An artificial part to replace missing teeth and their associated structures.

 

Prosthodontics

A specialty of dentistry involves diagnosis, treatment planning, and fabrication of artificial parts to replace missing teeth and their associated structures. Prosthodontics is the dental specialty pertaining to the diagnosis, treatment planning, rehabilitation and maintenance of the oral function, comfort, appearance and health of patients with clinical conditions associated with missing or deficient teeth and/or oral and maxillofacial tissues using biocompatible substitutes.

 

Pulp

The inner most part of a tooth. It contains nerves and blood vessels inside a tooth. The dental pulp is the part in the center of a tooth made up of living connective tissue and cells called odontoblasts. Each person can have a total of up to 52 pulp organs, 32 in the permanent and 20 in the primary teeth. The total volumes of all the permanent teeth organs is 0.38cc and the mean volume of a single adult human pulp is 0.02cc. Maxillary central incisor has shovel shaped coronal pulp with three short horns on the coronal roof and triangular in cross section. Cuspid has the longest pulp with elliptical cross section.

 

Pulpectomy

The removal of the whole pulp inside a tooth. Pulpectomy refers to a common endodontic procedure in which the dental pulp and root canal are completely removed. This procedure is usually done on primary teeth (chilren’s teeth) by a pediatric dentist.

Pulpectomy is necessary in instances where the pulp of a tooth have become infected due to deep decay or a crack within the tooth and needs to be removed entirely. This is different than pulpotomy in which the pulp tissue in the crown (visible portion of the tooth above the gums) of the tooth is removed but the pulp tissue in the root canals remain. Damage to the pulp becomes visible when a pocket of pus forms at the tip of the tooth root (abscess). If left alone the infection in the tooth will spread and cause further damage to the bone around the tooth. This can lead to the tooth falling out

 

Pulpotomy

The removal of the top part of the pulp inside a tooth. Pulpotomy refers to a common endodontic procedure in which dental pulp is removed from the pulp chamber. This procedure is usually done on primary teeth (children’s teeth) by a pediatric dentist.

Pulpotomy is necessary in instances where the pulp of a tooth has become infected due to deep decay or a crack within the tooth and the infected areas need to be removed. In pulpotomy all of the coronal pulp tissue is removed from the crown (visible portion of the tooth above the gums) but the pulp tissue in the root canals remain. This is different that pulpectomy in which all of the pulp is removed from both the root canals and crown. Damage to the pulp becomes visible when a pocket of pus forms at the tip of the tooth root (abscess). If left alone the infection in the tooth will spread and cause further damage to the bone around the tooth. This can lead to the tooth falling out

 

Radiograph

An x-ray picture. Dental radiographs, commonly referred to as X-ray films, or informally, X-rays, are pictures of the teeth, bones, and surrounding soft tissues to screen for and help identify problems with the teeth, mouth, and jaw. X-ray pictures can show cavities, cancerous or benign masses, hidden dental structures (such as wisdom teeth), and bone loss that cannot be seen during a visual examination. Dental X-rays may also be done as follow-up after dental treatments.

A radiographic image is formed by a controlled burst of X-ray radiation which penetrates oral structures at different levels, depending on varying anatomical densities, before striking the film or sensor. Teeth appear lighter because less radiation penetrates them to reach the film. Dental caries, infections and other changes in the bone density, and the periodontal ligament, appear darker because X-rays readily penetrate these less dense structures. Dental restorations (fillings, crowns) may appear lighter or darker, depending on the density of the material.

 

Restoration

An item a dentist uses to restore the normal function of a tooth or an area in the mouth. It can be a filling, crown, bridge, etc. A dental restoration or dental filling is a dental restorative material used to restore the function, integrity and morphology of missing tooth structure. The structural loss typically results from caries or external trauma. It is also lost intentionally during tooth preparation to improve the aesthetics or the physical integrity of the intended restorative material. Dental restoration also refers to the replacement of missing tooth structure that is supported by dental implants.

Dental restorations can be divided into two broad types: direct restorations and indirect restorations. All dental restorations can be further classified by their location and size. A root canal filling is a restorative technique used to fill the space where the dental pulp normally resides.

 

Retainer

A device used for maintaining the position of teeth in the jaw in orthodontic treatment. Dental retainers are sometimes used as a follow up mode of treatment for persons who have worn braces for an extended period of time. With this application, the dental retainers are employed as a means of reinforcing the process of realigning the teeth into permanent positions. This process was begun with the braces, but the use of dental retainers helps to complete the final stage of the procedure. Another application of dental retainers has to do with helping to correct an underbite or overbite. Along with helping to align individual teeth properly, dental retainers designed for this purpose also help to bring the two rows of teeth more into a natural alignment.

 

Root

The bottom part of tooth. It anchors the tooth to its supporting units. The lower two-thirds of a tooth. The roots are normally buried in bone, and serve to anchor the tooth in position. They are covered with a thin layer of bone, and insert into sockets in the bone of the jaw.

 

Root Canal

The canal that runs inside the root of the tooth. It contains the nerves and blood vessels inside the tooth. A root canal is the space within the root of a tooth. It is part of a naturally occurring space within a tooth that consists of the pulp chamber (within the coronal part of the tooth), the main canal(s), and more intricate anatomical branches that may connect the root canals to each other or to the surface of the root.

The smaller branches, referred to as accessory canals, are most frequently found near the root end (apex) but may be encountered anywhere along the root length. There may be one or two main canals within each root. Some teeth have more variable internal anatomy than others. This space is filled with a highly vascularized, loose connective tissue, the dental pulp.

 

Root Canal Treatment

A treatment for the root canal inside the tooth. Root Canal treatment also known as Endodontic therapy is a sequence of treatment for the pulp of a tooth which results in the elimination of infection and protection of the decontaminated tooth from future microbial invasion. This set of procedures is commonly referred to as a “root canal”. Root canals and their associated pulp chamber are the physical hollows within a tooth that are naturally inhabited by nerve tissue, blood vessels and other cellular entities. Endodontic therapy involves the removal of these structures, the subsequent cleaning, shaping, and decontamination of the hollows with tiny files and irrigating solutions, and the obturation (filling) of the decontaminated canals with an inert filling such as gutta percha and typically a eugenol-based cement.

 

Root Planing

The action of cleaning on the root area of teeth. Scaling and root planing are procedures used in the treatment of plaque buildup and, in more extreme cases, periodontal disease. Both procedures are part of what is considered “deep cleaning” – each removes stains, plaque, and tartar from the teeth. Scaling is used to clean the outside surfaces of the crown and root of teeth whereas root planing is used to remove cementum and surface dentin from the teeth which can contain dangerous microorganisms and toxins.

 

Scaling

The action of cleaning of teeth below the gum line. Scaling and root planing are procedures used in the treatment of plaque buildup and, in more extreme cases, periodontal disease. Both procedures are part of what is considered “deep cleaning” – each removes stains, plaque, and tartar from the teeth. Scaling is used to clean the outside surfaces of the crown and root of teeth whereas root planing is used to remove cementum and surface dentin from the teeth which can contain dangerous microorganisms and toxins.

 

Sealant

A thin layer of plastic-like material covers the grooves and pits on a tooth to prevent cavity. It is a plastic film coating that is applied to and adheres to the caries-free chewing surfaces of teeth to seal pits and fissures where plaque, food, and bacteria usually become trapped. The surface to be treated is isolated to ensure that it is not contaminated with saliva. It is then cleaned with a brush and pumice cleansing agent or by micro abrasion, dried, and etched with a phosphoric acid solution. After the acid has been washed away and the tooth has been dried, the sealant is applied.

 

Sedation

The use of medication to calm down a patient. Sedation in dentistry refers to the use of pharmacological agents to calm and relax a patient prior to and during a dental appointment. The pharmacological agents usually belong to a class of drugs called sedatives, which exert their action by depressing the central nervous system, specifically those areas concerned with conscious awareness.

 

Shaping

The process in which the dentist can reshape the tooth by filing or removing some of the enamel. Also known as Contouring or tooth reshaping, it is one of few instant treatments now available in cosmetic dentistry. Dental reshaping and contouring is a procedure to correct crooked teeth, chipped teeth, cracked teeth or even overlapping teeth in just one session. The dental contouring procedure can even be a substitute for braces under certain circumstances. It is also a procedure of subtle changes. A few millimeters of reduction and a few millimeters of tooth-colored laminate is involved. Tooth reshaping, or dental contouring, is commonly used to alter the length, shape or position of teeth.

 

Space Maintainer

An appliance to maintain the space in between teeth. A space maintainer is a dental device used to keep the space for a permanent tooth open when a child prematurely loses a primary, or baby, tooth. Primary teeth serve as guides for permanent teeth. If they are lost early, permanent teeth can drift into the wrong position and ultimately erupt through the gums in the wrong place or at a wrong angle. Sometimes, when a primary tooth is lost early, the two adjacent teeth may drift together and block the eruption of an adult tooth. A space maintainer keeps the space where the tooth was prematurely lost intact so the position of the permanent tooth is not affected.

 

Splint

An appliance or a material to prevent movement of a mobile part.

 

Temporary Teeth

Baby teeth. Deciduous teeth, otherwise known as milk teeth, baby teeth, temporary teeth and primary teeth, are the first set of teeth in the growth development of humans and many other mammals. They develop during the embryonic stage of development and erupt—that is, they become visible in the mouth—during infancy. They are usually lost and replaced by permanent teeth, but in the absence of permanent replacements, they can remain functional for many years.

 

Torus

An outgrowth on bone. It usually develops on the roof of the mouth or around the premolar area in the lower jaw. A torus is a bony growth in the mouth. There are two main types of torus; these are known as mandibular and palatal. Buccal exostosis is a condition similar to the growth of a torus; it relates to an overgrowth of bone in response to a stimulus. Mandibular tori appear on the surface of the lower jaw, most commonly in the area facing the tongue. Buccal exostosis is found on the edge of the tooth sockets and palatal tori are usually located on the roof of the mouth. If tori grown in any other part of the mouth this may be indicative of a condition called an osteoma, which is a benign tumour or an exostosis, which refers to a growth of bone, usually triggered by some kind of trauma or injury.

 

Veneer

A layer of tooth-colored material (can be porcelain, composite, or ceramics) attaches to the front of the tooth. It is usually for better outlook of the tooth. A veneer is a thin layer of restorative material placed over a tooth surface, either to improve the aesthetics of a tooth, or to protect a damaged tooth surface. There are two main types of material used to fabricate a veneer, composite and dental porcelain. A composite veneer may be directly placed (built-up in the mouth), or indirectly fabricated by a dental technician in a dental laboratory, and later bonded to the tooth, typically using a resin cement such as Panavia. In contrast, a porcelain veneer may only be indirectly fabricated.

 

Wisdom Tooth

The eighth (also the last tooth) tooth from the middle of the jaw. A wisdom tooth, in humans, is any of the usually four third molars, including mandibular third molar and maxillary third molar. Wisdom teeth usually appear between the ages of 17 and 25. Most adults have four wisdom teeth, but it is possible to have more, in which case they are called supernumerary teeth. Wisdom teeth commonly affect other teeth as they develop, becoming impacted or “coming in sideways”. They are often extracted when this occurs.

"We guarantee that you will have something to smile about"
img
img
img

I found this service very helpful. The website has a lot of helpful information! Thanks Smile Canada.


Anu R , Scarborough, ON