Abscess:
A collection of pus. Usually forms because of an infection.

Abutment:
A tooth or tooth structure which is responsible for the anchorage of a bridge or a denture.

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 cavities in between teeth and height of bone support.

Bruxism:
Teeth grinding.

Caries:
Tooth decay.

Cementation:
The process of “gluing” the appliance/prosthesis on the associated area.

Cold Sore:
An ulcer or blister on lip. A form of herpes simplex.

Crown:
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.

Dentition:
The position, type, and number of teeth in upper and lower jaw.

Desensitization:
A procedure to reduce the sensitivity of teeth.

Diastema:
The space between two adjacent teeth.

Edentulous:
No teeth.

Eruption:
The process of the tooth appearing in the mouth.

Extruded:
When a tooth may be pushed partially out of the socket.

Floss:
A thread/tape that goes in between teeth for cleaning.

Fracture:
When a cusp of a tooth becomes weakened, a fracture may result. It is possible for the crack to extend further into the root and damage to the pulp is commonplace.

Hemorrhage:
Bleeding.

Implant:
A device (screw like) put in the jaw bone to support a false tooth, a denture or a bridge.

Incisor:
The four upper and lower front teeth.

Lingual:
The side of the tooth towards the tongue.

Mouthguard:
A device to be worn in the mouth. Depending on the design of it, it prevents injury to teeth and/or jaw during teeth grinding or sports events.

Occlusion:
The way how the upper and lower teeth close together.

Orthodontics:
A special field in dentistry which involved diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of bite abnormalities or facial irregularities.

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

Periodontics:
A specialty of dentistry involves diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of gum (periodontal) disease.

Polish:
A process to make the tooth or filling or other denture smooth and glossy.

Posterior:
Located at the back.

Premolar:
The two teeth located in front of the molar.

Prophylaxis/Prophy:
The procedure of teeth polishing. It also means the prevention of diseases.

Pulp:
The innermost part of a tooth. It contains nerves and blood vessels inside a tooth.

Radiograph:
An x-ray picture.

Recementation:
The process of “gluing” the appliance/prosthesis back on the associated area.

Retreatment:
The process of repeating the root canal treatment.

Root Canal Treatment:
A treatment for the root canal inside the tooth.

Root planning:
The action of cleaning the root area of teeth.

Sedation:
The use of medication to calm a patient.

Tempromandibular Joint (TMJ):The joint that links the two parts of the jaw.

Wisdom Tooth:
The eighth (also the last) tooth from the middle of the jaw.

Anterior:
The front position.

Apex:
The end of the root

Asepsis:
No micro-organism.

Bleaching:
Whitening of teeth.

Canine:
The third tooth from the middle of the jaw. There are four of them. They are the longest teeth in humans.

Cavity:
A hole on the tooth.

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.

Composite:
White filling.

Decay:
The rotten part of the tooth.

Denture:
An artificial object to replace missing teeth and their neighboring structures. There are many different types of denture to satisfy different treatment requirements and patient preferences.

Diagnosis:
The process of identifying dental disease.

Distal:
A direction indication in the mouth. It indicates the direction away from the middle of the jaw.

Endodontics:
A department of dentistry involving diagnosis, prevention and treatment of dental pulp.

Filling:
A restoration placed on a tooth to restore its function and appearance.

Fluoride:
A compound of fluorine (an element) which can be put in different forms such as water, gels, and rinses to strengthen teeth.

Framework:
A metal skeleton of a removable partial denture to support the false teeth and the plastic attachments.

Homeostasis:
Stop bleeding.

Impression:
A mold taken by some jelly-like material loaded on a tray.

Inlay
A restoration (usually gold, composite, or ceramics) fabricated in the lab that cements on a tooth like a missing puzzle piece. It helps to restore the normal function and outlook of the tooth.

Mesial:
The side of the tooth towards the middle of the jaw.

Nightguard:
A mouthguard which is worn at night time.

Onlay:
A restoration covers the entire biting surface of a tooth.

Over bite:
The overlap of upper teeth and lower teeth when they close together.

Perforation:
An opening on a tooth or other oral structure.

Permanent Teeth:
Adult’s teeth. The first permanent tooth that usually comes in around 6 years.

Pontic:
The false tooth in a bridge or denture to replace the missing tooth.

Pre-authorization:
An approval from the particular authority (usually insurance company in dentistry) before any action (treatment) is carried out.

Prescription:
A written statement (from a doctor to a pharmacist) regarding the type, the amount and direction of the use of a medication for a patient. In dentistry, a prescription can also be written statement for a preparation of an appliance from a dentist to a lab technician.

Pulpectomy:
The removal of the whole pulp inside a tooth.

Recall:
The regular checkup and teeth cleaning appointment.

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, a crown, a bridge, etc.

Root:
The bottom part of tooth. It anchors the tooth to its supporting units.

Rubber Dam:
A rubber sheet that fits around teeth. It isolates the treatment area from the rest of the oral cavity.

Space Maintainer:
An appliance to maintain the space between teeth.

Torus:
An outgrowth of bone. It usually develops on the roof of the mouth or around the premolar area on the lower jaw.

Xerostomia:
Dry Mouth

Amalgam:
A silver filling material.

Attrition:
Wear of teeth due to activities such as chewing.

Avulsed:
An injury that causes a tooth to be completely knocked out of the mouth.

Bridge:
A prosthesis which is fixed inside the mouth to replace missing teeth.

Canker Sore:
An ulceration with yellow base and red border in mouth. It can be caused by trauma or herpes simplex virus.

Cast:
A model of teeth.

Clasp:
A metal arm extended from a removable partial denture. It helps to hold onto natural tooth structure and thus provide anchorage for the denture.

Cross-bite:
An abnormal bite relationship of upper and lower jaw. The lower teeth/tooth align toward the cheek/lip side more than the upper teeth/tooth.

Dentistry:
A branch of medicine that involves diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of any disease concerning teeth, real cavity, and associated structures.

Denturist:
The person who specializes in fabricating dentures. A denturist is not responsible for making any type of diagnosis or carrying out any other treatment.

Excision:
The action of cutting something off.

Flipper:
A temporary denture to replace missing teeth during the waiting period for long term treatment.

Fluoride Treatment:
Teeth treatment with fluoride agents like gel or rinse. It helps to prevent tooth decay.

Gingivitis:
The mildest form of gum disease: inflammation of gum. The earliest sign is bleeding gum.

Impaction:
A condition where a tooth is not able to come in normally or is stuck underneath another tooth or bone.

Incisal:
The cutting edge of from teeth.

Interproximal:
The space between two adjacent teeth.

Molar:
The last three upper and lower teeth on both sides of the mouth.

Occlusal:
The biting surface of the back teeth.

Open bite:
The situation where the upper teeth are not able to contact the opposing lower teeth.

Overhang:
The portion of filling material that hangs beyond the border of the cavity.

Palate:
The roof of the mouth.

Periapical:
The surrounding of the bottom of the root of a tooth.

Pin:
A piece of “nail-like” metal. It usually is used for better retention of a filling.

Post:
A big pin which can be made with different materials such as metal or carbon. Its function usually is to support a big buildup on a tooth.

Pre-medication:
Medication needed to be taken before treatment.

Primary Teeth:
Baby teeth.

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

Prosthodontics:
A specialty of dentistry involving diagnosis, treatment planning, and fabrication of artificial parts to replace missing teeth and their associated structures.

Pulpotomy:
The removal of the top part of the pulp inside a tooth.

Retainer:
A device used for maintaining the position of teeth in the jaw in orthodontic treatment.

Root canal:
The canal that runs inside the root of the tooth. It contains the nerves and blood vessels inside the tooth.

Scaling:
The action of cleaning teeth below the gumline.

Sealant:
A thin layer of plastic-like material covering the grooves and pits on a tooth to prevent cavity.

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

Veneer:
A layer of tooth-colored material (can be porcelain, composite, or ceramics) that attaches to the front of the tooth. It is usually used to improve the appearance of the tooth.