Dental Terms and Information

Looking for more details on dental terms and what they really are? Read below and you’ll find many of the most used terminology used today.

Bad Breath (Halitosis) – Bad breath, which is more formally known as ‘halitosis’ when in a persistent form, is a condition whereby the mouth emits offensive, often rotten-smelling odors.

Bridges – Also known as fixed partial dentures, bridges are a type of dental restoration that involves affixing one or more artificial teeth to adjacent natural teeth or dental implants. As their name implies, these fittings are anchored in place by their connection to other, secure teeth, in effect forming a row of either natural or artificial teeth that support one another.

Brushing – Tooth brushing should be a part of every person’s daily routine. This is because decades of clinical studies have shown that the simple ritual of cleaning one’s teeth with a toothbrush is highly effective when it comes to preventing cavities and gum disease.

Cavities – Cavities are a form of tooth decay that is caused by acid-producing bacteria.

Cosmetic Dentistry – Though, along with preserving overall health, one of the goals of all dentistry is to enhance the appearance of a patient and ensure that they have a natural, beautiful smile, the term ‘cosmetic dentistry’ is applied to procedures that are specifically intended to improve the look of someone’s teeth, gums, and overall appearance.

Crowns – A crown is a restorative dental cap that is fitted to damaged or otherwise decayed teeth or dental implants. Because they completely encircle a tooth, they provide constant, secure pressure that greatly enhances the tooth’s overall integrity, thereby preventing the spread of any further damage.

Diabetes and the oral effects – Diabetes is of particular concern to dentists because it can aggravate both the symptoms and causes of conditions like periodontitis, including bleeding, red, and sore gums.

Dental Implants – Dental implants are devices that secure restorations or fittings to a patient’s jaw. While in common parlance dental implants are themselves often referred to as ’artificial teeth’, an implant can in fact be the artificial root upon which a prosthesis like a crown is mounted.

Dentures – Also called ‘False Teeth’ or, more colloquially, ‘Choppers’, dentures are sets of artificial teeth that are worn on either the mandibular or maxillary arch. Though traditionally removable, many newer denture types are anchored to dental implants, bonded directly to an individual’s gums, or clasped to existing teeth or other artificial structures.

Emergency Dentistry – Emergency dentistry is any sort of unscheduled dental work that must be conducted in a timely manner. Commonly, the various procedures it entails are often called upon as a result of an accident or other form of injury.

Family Dentistry
– As the term implies, family dentistry is any practice that is dedicated to providing all-around preventative, restorative, and cosmetic dental services to a family or group of individuals who may differ in age.

Fillings – Though fillings are used to repair the natural appearance and function of teeth within a variety of restorative dental procedures, the term itself is commonly used to describe the materials that are used to restore, or ‘fill’, gaps or other forms of damage in teeth that have been caused by caries, which also known as ‘cavities’.

Floss – Dental floss is any type or brand of ribbon or filament that is used to clear dental plaque and food particles from spaces between teeth or between teeth and gums. As such food particles can decay and lead to infection of the teeth and gums, it is essential for every individual to floss several times a day, preferably after eating.

General Dentistry – ‘General dentistry’ is a broad term that describes any of the most commonly sought after dental procedures or services.

Invisalign – Invisalign is a transparent teeth straightening system produced by Align Technology. Intended to fulfill the role of braces and other traditional alignment products in a significantly less noticeable manner, the Invisalign system had been used to treat over 700,000 patients, worldwide, by 2008.

Mouth Rinse – Mouth rinse is an anti-septic liquid that is used to clean the mouth of dental plaque and other harmful bacteria build-up. It is generally swished or gurgled over the teeth, gums, and throat for up to half a minute and then spat out.

Sedation Dentistry – Sedation is the process of relaxing a dental patient’s central nervous system through the use of chemical agents for the sake of minimizing anxiety and pain during a procedure.

Teeth Whitening – Commonly known as ‘tooth bleaching’, teeth whitening is any procedure that involves whitening discolored or darkened teeth by artificial, often chemical, means. Carbamide peroxide, which penetrates a tooth’s enamel and oxidizes any interprismatic stains that exist within its crystalline structure, is the chemical most commonly used during the whitening process.

Veneers – Veneers are thin coverings that are applied to teeth for both protective and aesthetic reasons. Though these laminates are often bonded to a tooth after having been fabricated by an off-site dental technician, as is the common practice with veneers crafted from dental porcelain, they can also be built-up within a patient’s mouth using composites.