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Amalgam A type of tooth filling made of silver and mercury. The metallic mixture is initially soft so that it can be molded to fit the tooth and gradually hardens.

Anesthesia Substances are used to remove the effects of pain. General one of 4 types: Topical Anesthesia, Local Anesthesia, General Anesthesia, and Neuroleptic Anesthesia.

Autoclave Equipment is used to clean dental instruments that use superheated high-pressure steam.

Bicuspids The premolars

Bite-wing X-rays are Similar to periapical X-rays except that only the crowns and part of the roots are seen for 2 or 3 adjacent teeth. So-called Bite-wing because the X-ray film holder provides a surface to bite down on and securely hold the X-ray.

Board Certified A Dentist that has been approved by the American Dental Society to practice a particular specialty. Board-certified dentists have demonstrated at least two years of residency within a particular dental specialty and have been certified to be competent in that specialty. Any dentist may claim specific knowledge of any specialty, but a board-certified dentist has passed an exam demonstrating education and experience within a particular field of dentistry.

Braces, Bands, wires, ceramic or other appliances are .used to correct teeth alignment.

Bridges Dental work involves supporting a replacement tooth between two healthy teeth.

Calculus is the Same as tartar. Occurs when plaque is left on the teeth untreated. A hard substance that acts as an irritant by wedging between the tooth and gum. Left untreated, calculus can eventually lead to periodontal disease.

Canines The teeth are located just to the left and right of the lateral incisors, 4 in total. Also referred to as cuspids.

Canker Sore An ulcer appearing in the mouth or lips is usually caused by a viral infection. Also referred to as a cold sore.

Central Incisors The first four front teeth, two located on the top and two on the bottom of the mouth.

Composite Fillings An alternative to Silver Amalgam fillings. Composite fillings are made from resin and particles that are mixed together and then given time to “cure” and harden. The advantage of composite fillings is that they are naturally white, can easily be colored to match the surrounding teeth, and are relatively easy to install. Composite fillings are less biocompatible than silver or gold and are generally not as strong as metal fillings. Composite fillings are used more often on front teeth.

Cosmetic Dentist Cosmetic dentistry is generally used to refer to any dental work that improves the appearance (though not necessarily functionality) of teeth, gums, and/or bites. It primarily focuses on improvement in dental aesthetics in color, position, shape, size, alignment, and overall smile appearance.

Crowns An artificial “top” made of porcelain, composite, or metal that is cemented on top of damaged teeth.

Curettage A periodontal procedure that involves scraping off the plaque to the bottom of the damaged gum tissue and removing the damaged gum tissue.

Dentures A set of artificial teeth.

Dental Pulp Tissue This is a neat image of a vital dental pulp. The tooth was diagnosed with irreversible pulpitis, acute apical periodontitis, and cracked tooth syndrome. RCT was completed before crowning the tooth. Once in a while, the pulp will come out in one piece. This actually shows the tissue from the pulp chamber all the way down to the apical portion.

Sterilization and disinfection are essential for both personal safety and patient safety. Rather than a cookbook approach, these should be viewed as processes that are utilized based on philosophy. The philosophy of how an item is used, stored, contaminated, reused, or disposed of determines the optimal method of sterilization and disinfection.

Endodontist Board Certified Dentists who specialize in teeth and diseases of the tooth pulp

Endentulous Without any teeth.

Fluoride is A chemical substance that strengthens teeth enamel, making teeth less susceptible to decay. There are two ways fluoride makes its way to teeth: ingestion through food or water; and the topical application made directly to the surface of the teeth by the dentist.

General Anesthesia A class of Anesthesia substances or substances that are inhaled as gases. General anesthesia eliminates pain by rendering patients completely unconscious. General anesthesia must be administered by medical or dental anesthesiologists and oral surgeons with special training in a hospital or office operating room. General anesthesia is generally used with oral surgery or more complicated procedures where the patient must be relaxed and pain-free for an extended period of time. Complete recovery from general anesthesia often takes at least several hours.

Gingivitis Stage one of early periodontal disease is characterized by inflammation, swollen, reddish gum tissue that may bleed easily when touched or brushed. Untreated gingivitis can lead to chronic periodontal disease and the stability of your teeth.

Gingivectomy is A procedure performed by periodontists to remove & reshape gum tissue.

Gingivoplasty is A procedure performed by periodontists to reshape the gum.

Gold Fillings An alternative to Silver Amalgam fillings. Gold is longer lasting; however, they are much more complicated, expensive, and requires multiple visits. Gold is generally used as cast fillings, cemented into the mouth.

Halitosis is The same as bad breath. Halitosis has several potential causes, including dentures, tooth decay, or periodontal disease. It’s an oral health problem in which bad-smelling breath & the odor can be worse when you wake up, smoke, drink coffee or eat certain food like garlic.

Impacted Tooth A tooth blocked by an adjacent tooth prevents it from erupting on the gum’s surface. An impacted tooth may push other teeth together or damage the bony structures supporting the adjacent tooth. Oftentimes, impacted teeth must be surgically removed.

Lateral Incisors The teeth located just to the left and right of the central incisors, 4 in total

Local Anesthesia A class of Anesthesia substances applied by injection directly to the gums or mouth tissue to provide pain relief to a local area of the mouth or gum. Lidocaine and prilocaine, and mepivacaine are the most widely used. Dentists often apply local anesthesia to reduce the pain associated with general dental procedures. The advantages are that the patient remains alert during the procedure without pain.

Molars The class of teeth found in the back of the mouth after the canines that are characterized as having multiple biting surfaces.

Neuroleptic Anesthesia A class of Anesthesia substances applied intravenously. The degree of anesthesia can be controlled from slight consciousness to totally unconscious. Fentanyl and droperidol combinations are most commonly used. Dentists often apply Neuroleptic anesthesia to reduce the pain associated with any dental procedures. The advantages are that the degree of unconsciousness and pain relief can be controlled, and generally, the recovery time is much less than with general anesthesia.

Occlusal X-rays Larger X-rays are taken to show the whole bite of the lower and upper jar.

Onlay A large filling is when a substantial part of the tooth is replaced.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon Board Certified Dentists specialize in surgery on jaw, jawbone, or face teeth and bones.

Orthodontist Board Certified Dentists who specialize in correcting abnormally aligned or positioned teeth.

Panoramic X-rays As the name suggests, a type of X-ray where the X-ray machine makes a complete half circle from ear to ear to produce a complete two-dimensional representation of all teeth.

Periapical X-rays and X-rays provide complete side views from the roots to the crowns of the teeth. Typically a complete set consists of 14-24 films, with each tooth appearing in two different films from two different angles.

Pediatric Dentist Board Certified Dentists who specialize in children’s teeth.

Pedodontist is a dentist who specializes in handling children, obviating the fear in a child’s mind that is usually created by seeing the complex gadgetry and plethora of drills. The Pedodontist is specially trained to win the child’s confidence, making the child aware of the responsibility of looking after his/her teeth and the importance of a healthy mouth.

Periodontist Board Certified Dentists who specialize in gums, gum disease, tissues, and structures supporting the teeth.

Perio Charting A numeric assignment indicating the depth of a periodontal probe, which measures the depth between the teeth and the adjacent gums. The larger the number, the larger the space, and the more likely that periodontal disease can or has occurred.

Plaque A sticky, fairly transparent film that forms on the teeth or cracks of the teeth primarily composed of undigested food particles mixed with saliva and bacteria. Plaque left alone eventually turns into tartar or calculus.

Porcelain Fillings An alternative to Silver Amalgam fillings. Porcelain fillings are made of the same material as china. Porcelain fillings and tooth replacement is accomplished by hardening in a mold and then baking at an extremely high temperature. The advantages of porcelain are similar to composites in that they can be easily colored to match surrounding teeth. Porcelain is much stronger and longer lasting than composite teeth replacement. The disadvantage of porcelain is that the substance is brittle and typically requires a highly skilled dental professional and multiple dental visits.

Prosthetics Dental implants or artificial teeth.

Prosthodontist Board Certified Dentists who specialize in replacing missing teeth with bridges and dentures.

Root Canal A four-step process is required when the tooth’s inner pulp is irreversibly damaged. Step one involves removing the inner pulp from the tooth’s chamber. Step two involves cleaning and smoothing the inside of the tooth. Step three involves filling the tooth with an inert material. Finally, an artificial crown is placed on top of the tooth.

Root Planing: scraping plaque off teeth below the gum line or on the tooth’s root.

Root Amputation is a specialized dental procedure whereby one root is removed from a multi-root tooth. The tooth is then stabilized and rendered fully functional with a crown or filling.

Sealants A substance applied to the biting surface of teeth to protect the teeth from decay.

Splints Used with an otherwise healthy tooth have become loose due to advanced periodontal disease. The loose tooth is wired to surrounding solid teeth, and a composite is added on top to hold the wire in place.

Topical Anesthesia A class of Anesthesia substances applied directly to the gums or mouth tissue to provide pain relief on the immediate surface of the tissue. Lidocaine and Benzocaine are the two most widely used. Dentists often apply topical anesthesia to reduce the pain associated with needle pricks required for applying local anesthesia or to reduce pain and discomfort of mild infections or irritations on the gum or in the mouth.

TMJ/TMD {Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) /Temporomandibular disorder (TMD)} The Temporomandibular joint is a complicated joint formed where the lower jaw bone attaches to the head. TMD refers to a general class of disorders affecting the bones and muscles of this region. Symptoms range from tenderness and swelling to headaches and neck and back aches. Generally, a clicking or popping sound when the jaw is opened or closed is evidence of some form of one of the disorders.

Trench Mouth Same as Vincent’s infection and Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis (NUG). An acute and painful infection of the gums, not contagious, with an odor and painful bleeding of the mouth and gums.

Ultrasonic root canal irrigation can be performed with or without simultaneous ultrasonic instrumentation. When canal shaping is not undertaken, passive ultrasonic irrigation (PUI) can be used to describe the technique.

X-Rays High-frequency light (or radiation) penetrates different substances with different rates and absorption. By using film on the opposite side of the substance, different levels of exposure are recorded corresponding to each of the different substances to form a picture. In dentistry, there are typically 4 types of X-rays: Periapical, Bitewing, Occlusal, and Panoramic.

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