A Seventh-day Adventist Organization

Patient Education

Glossary

Abscessed tooth
a collection of infected material (pus) due to a bacterial infection in the center of a tooth
Aesthetic
the appearance of a person’s teeth, gums and/or bite
Alveolar/alveolus/alveoli
sockets in the jaw in which the roots of teeth are held
Apical Surgery
procedure performed to remove an infection and to seal the root end of a tooth
Biopsy
a brief procedure that removes a small piece of living tissue from an area of concern in your body
Bridge
a set of one or more false teeth supported by a metal framework, used to replace one or more missing teeth. Bridges may be fixed or removable.
Cavity
a decayed portion of a tooth
Cleft palate
a common birth defect in which a baby's mouth and facial tissue do not form properly. Normally, the tissues that make up the lip and palate fuse together in the second and third months of pregnancy. But, in babies with a cleft lip and cleft palate, the fusion never takes place or is incomplete, leaving an opening (cleft).
Craniofacial
relating to the cranium (the skull, especially the part enclosing the brain) and the face
Crossbite
a dental condition in which one or more of the upper teeth are biting on the inside of the lower teeth
Crown
a dental crown is a tooth-shaped "cap" that is placed over a tooth to restore its shape, size and strength. When cemented in place, crowns fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.
DDS
Doctor of Dental Surgery
Dental Pulp
the part of the center of a tooth made up of sensitive, living, connective tissue and cells
Denture
a removable plate or frame holding one or more artificial teeth
DMD
Doctor of Dental Medicine
Filling
a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape
Flouride
a sodium flouride or another flourine-containing salt additive that reduces tooth decay
Gingivitis
inflammation (redness, swelling) of the gums
Malocclusions
a misalignment (incorrect relationship) between the teeth of the two dental arches when they approach each other as the jaw closes
Maxillofacial
of or relating to the jaws or face
MD
Doctor of Medicine
Openbite
a dental condition where only a few of the teeth of the upper and lower jaw make contact
Orthodontia
the treatment of irregularities in the teeth (especially of alignment and occlusions) and jaws that includes the use of braces
Orthognatic (surgery)
surgery to correct conditions of the jaw and face related to structure, growth, sleep apnea, TMJ disorders, malocclusion problems owing to skeletal disharmonies, or other orthodontic problems that cannot be easily treated with braces
Overbite
a dental condition where the lower jaw is too far behind the upper jaw or a misalignment of the teeth
Periodontal
investing or surrounding the tooth
Periodontal Disease
inflammation (redness, swelling) and infection of the ligaments and bones that support the teeth
Plaque
sticky build-up on teeth in which bacteria rapidly multiply
Prosthesis
an artificial tooth
Radiograph
an image produced on a sensitive plate or film by x-rays, gamma rays, or similar radiation, and often used in medical examinations
Sealants
a preventative dental treatment in which a plastic material is placed in the pits and fissures of chewing surfaces usually of the permanent molar teeth at the back of the mouth
TAD
a temporary anchorage device (TAD) that actually is defined officially as an implant.
Tartar
a hard, calcified build-up that forms on teeth and contributes to their decay
TMJ
Temporomandibular Joint: the joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull
Underbite
the projection of the lower teeth beyond the upper
Veneers
dental veneers are wafer-thin, translucent ceramic shells that are placed over teeth and applied with a special glue. Veneers are predominantly used on frontal teeth.