Abscess A swollen area within the tissues contains an accumulation of pus.
Acid etch A way that dentist’s use to stick or bond restorations using special chemicals.
Abutment The abutment to a bridge is the bridge support either side of the pontic or “false” tooth.
Adhesive bridge A way dentist’s replace teeth by way of a bridge when the false tooth is supported by wings glued to each tooth either side
Alvogel An antibacterial gel used by a dentist to treat a dry socket usually after extraction.
Amalgam filling An alloy of mercury and silver plus other metals to give a set material. Not tooth-colored.
Anaesthesia The absence of any pain
Anaesthetic A local anesthetic usually lignocaine and adrenaline
Analgesia In the absence of pain
Angles Classification III Malocclusion Where the lower incisor edges lie in front of the upper incisors
Apicectomy A surgical procedure usually carried out by an oral maxillofacial surgeon which is used when root canal treatment has failed. The procedure involves the dentist drilling away a section from the bottom (apex) of the tooth through the gum line. Is often used as a last resort prior to extraction.
Apical Root tip (apex) of a tooth
Apical area An area of infection around the bottom of the tooth where it lies in the jawbone. Often can be seen as a dark area on any x-rays (radiographs).
Apexit Brand name of a root canal sealant material.
Articulator (includes semi-adjustable articulator) A mechanical device that reproduces the way teeth bite together, often used in orthodontic treatment.
Articulating Paper A special type of dental “paper” that is placed between the teeth to show high spots when the patient bites down
Articulator Disc A disc of fibers between the head of the TMJ and the base of the temporal bone of the head
Aquacem Brand name for a type of dental cement.
Atypical Facial Pain A painful syndrome with dull aching or throbbing pain.
Attrition The physical wear caused by the movement of the tooth against another.
Augmentation The addition of bone from elsewhere on the body used to increase the depth of bone prior to dental implants being placed to give them more support.
Avulsed The removal of a tooth as the result usually of a knock or other trauma
Bitewing Small x-ray/radiograph usually of a single tooth. Often used to assess individual or problem teeth.
Biteguard A soft plastic gumshield used to protect teeth usually from grinding and alike.
Bleaching (tooth) The use of a chemical agent to lighten the shade of a tooth
BPE Charting (CPITN) Often critical in periodontal disease negligence claims, The Basic Periodontal Examination. The BPE score is a measurement used by a dentist on a small probe to test the healthiness of the tissues around the teeth. A score of 0 indicates good oral hygiene, with no bleeding on probing, whilst a high score of 4 (the maximum) is an indication of severe problems.
Bite raising appliance This is a mechanical appliance that covers the biting surfaces of the teeth and separates them, lifting them apart. Often used in TMJ disorder cases.
Bone Graft Bone can be added to the jawbone from other parts of the body
Bonded Crown (Porcelain) A dental crown consisting of a gold crown overlaid with porcelain to give a nice white tooth-colored appearance
Brace orthodontic appliance used to straighten teeth.
Bridge Dentist use bridges to replace missing teeth by way of fixing a false tooth to crowns fixed to adjacent teeth.
Buccal Dental terminology for the outer side of the tooth facing toward the cheek
Bruxism An abnormal tooth grinding habit
Calcification The pulp chamber inside the tooth can sometimes close up due to trauma reaction.
Calculus Hard deposits which form on the surfaces of the teeth and cannot be removed by brushing alone.
Caries Dental decay usually caused by a build-up of plaque and tartar.
Cantilever Bridge A type of bridge where only one abutment supports the false tooth.
Cast restorations Metal or porcelain bonded to metal placed onto the tooth in the form of the crowns
Cavit Brand name for a temporary filling material.
Chemfil A dental material used for providing aesthetic fillings.
Chronic gingivitis A severe inflammation of the gums. Chronic gingivitis gives dentists an indication that periodontal disease could develop if not controlled.
Chrome cobalt denture This is a denture made of chrome cobalt and is a lot stronger than the traditional plastic denture.
Chronic adult periodontitis (gum disease) This is a severe breakdown of the tissues surrounding the teeth which holds them into the jawbone and often also results in loss of jawbone. It is caused by the body’s reaction to the bacteria around the teeth. Chronic adult periodontal disease can cause tooth mobility, is very serious, but can often be difficult for dentists to detect due to no pain being felt by the patient. Treatment is basically good oral hygiene from your dentist and a hygienist at regular intervals of 3 months or less.
CPITN Short for the community Periodontal index of treatment needs. This indicates the need for periodontal (gum) treatment.
Class I Occlusion A normal bite
Clearance To extract all remaining natural teeth
Click A short sharp sound usually emanating from the TMJ.
Composite White filling material used instead of amalgam
Congenital A defect present from birth
Contraindication Where a certain course of treatment or drug should not be given in a certain situation
Crepitus A grating sound commonly associated with osteoarthritis
Core Used to build up a broken down tooth usually to receive a crown.
Coronal Simply means towards the crown of a tooth.
Corsodyl Brand name for an over the counter antiseptic mouthwash.
Cresophene A chemical cleaner less often now used in root canal treatments for disinfection purposes.
Crown A false tooth often called a cap
Cyst A collection of abnormal substances
Deciduous teeth baby teeth or teeth found in children
Dental Abscess A collection of pus at the tip of a tooth
Dental Caries/Tooth decay A disease dependant upon sugar causing demineralization over time.
Dental Implants Titanium screws placed in the jawbone which become integrated with the bone. Gives stable support for the placement of a prosthesis (artificial teeth)
Dental plaque Soft bacterial deposit left on teeth can be removed by a good brushing.
Dental Pulp Blood vessels and nerve tissues deep inside the tooth
Dentatus post A post often used for supporting temporary crowns.
Dentine The substance underneath your hard outer tooth enamel.
Diagnostic study models Study-models made from plastic casts of teeth. Sometimes mounted on a hinged articulator.
Diagnostic wax up A wax model of the proposed final result of restorative dentistry
Diastema A small gap usually found between the front teeth.
Difflam A brand name antiseptic and anti-inflammatory mouth rinse.
Distal The way dentists describe an area of the tooth facing towards the back of the mouth.
D.O Dental shorthand for “distal occlusal” meaning a filling extending across the top and back of a tooth.
Draining Sinus Describes when pus drains to the surface of the gumline
Dry Socket This is an infection of the tissues in the socket, which usually occurs after an extraction.
Duraphat A fluoride varnish painted on teeth to stop them from being sensitive.
Durelon A brand name for a permanent dental cement.
Dycal A brand name for a sedative cement lining material usually used under a filling.
Dyract Band name for a temporary filling material
Elevator Dental instrument used to remove teeth.
Endodontics Is the study of root canal treatment
External resorbtion The root of the tooth is eaten away
Extract To remove a tooth
Face Bow A procedure which enables study models to be mounted in the correct position to the condylar axis
Fissure sealing The filling of the small cracks in the surface of larger back teeth to help prevent decay starting.
Fixed BridgeA prosthesis to replace missing teeth which is supported by implants
Flagyl Brand name antibiotic specifically used in gum infections.
Furcation The area where the roots divide in a tooth.
Fuji A brand name dental cement often used for permanently cementing crowns and bridges.
Gingivae The gums
Gingivitis Inflammation of the gums caused by bacteria
Gingivectomy The surgical removal of gum pockets
Glass Ionomer A type of dental cement. Grade 1 MobileA tooth that moves from side to side by the least 1mm
GP Short for “Gutta Percha”. An orange, soft material (rather like blue tac!) and shaped like a toothpick and is used for filling root canals during root canal treatment.
Gum disease Inflammation of the gums.
Gum boil A swelling found on the gum
Hypocal A substance containing calcium hydroxide and used for sterilizing root canals.
Hypoplasia A defect during the development of the teeth. Can be seen as dark or light spots or discolored areas on the teeth.
ICP Short for Inter Cuspal Position.
Immediate denture A technique where teeth are removed and a denture immediately fitted in the mouth.
Implant A titanium screw is inserted into the jawbone surgically, and then given at least 6 months to heal or Osseo-integrate with the jawbone and used to support a crown.
Implantologist A specialist concerned with implants
Inferior Dental Nerve This is the nerve in the lower jaw (mandible) which supplies sensation to the lower lip, lower teeth, and chin area. Damage to this nerve can last many months with loss of taste ensuing.
ID Block The usual technique of anesthetizing many teeth. Aims to deposit local anesthetic around the inferior nerve.
Incisal edge The biting edge of a front tooth.
Infiltration The method of delivering the local anesthetic solution.
Inflammation A physical condition in which part of the body becomes red and swollen after infection
InlayA type of filling which is inlaid into the surface of the tooth. Usually made of gold.
Intra oral radiograph Small x-ray is usually taken of a single tooth.
Integration (osseo integration) This refers to the growing of the bone in the jaw usually around a titanium implant.
Intravenous (IV) Method of administering a drug into a vein
Kalzinol Temporary filling material.
Labial The surface of the tooth facing the lip
Ledermix A brand name used as a sedative dressing material.
Legend A brand name for filling material.
Lingual dental terminology meaning a tooth surface pointing towards the tongue.
Local Anaesthetic Method of numbing up a specific area without the need for general Anaesthetic.
Maryland bridg eA bridge which is attached to adjacent teeth by means of “wings” that are glued behind the adjacent teeth.
Mesial dental terminology meaning towards the front part of the mouth.
Metronidazole Brand name antibiotic commonly used to treat dental infections
M.O dental shorthand for “mesial occlusal”. A type of filling that goes across the top and front of a tooth
Mobility Describes how wobbly a tooth is
MOD Dental shorthand for “mesial occlusal distal” A filling that goes up one side of the tooth, across the top, and down the other side.
Mouthguard plastic appliance that fits over the biting surface of the teeth and protects them against trauma or grinding. Often worn at night by people who grind their teeth.
Nayyar Core A type of filling material to provide a good base upon which to place a crown.
Needle Phobia An irrational fear of injections
Nerve A fibre that conducts nerve impulses
Occlusion The way the upper and lower teeth bite together. Dentists have 3 classes of type of occlusion, type 1,2 or 3.
Occlusal The biting surfaces of the teeth.
Occlusal Equilibration The changing the shape of the teeth for a better fit when biting.
Occlusal Splint A removable appliance affecting the relationship between the lower and upper jaw
OPG/OPT Short for “Orthopantograph”. A full mouth x-ray showing both the upper and lower teeth and jawbone.
Oro antral fistula (OAF) A dental term meaning communication between the mouth and the maxillary sinus.
Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon A surgeon of specialist training concerned with the head and neck.
Orthodontic appliance or brace An appliance that is used to straighten teeth.
Oral Mucosa The lining of the mouth
Orthodontist A dental surgeon concerned with the straightening of teeth.
Overdenture Fits over a root or post left in the jawbone.
PA Short for “periapical” Small radiograph taken of a single tooth showing the details around the root area.
Parafunctional Habit Abnormal loads on the teeth due to poor habits
Palatal dental terminology meaning the surface of the tooth pointing towards the centerline of the mouth.
Parapost A metal post used to support a crown in a root-filled tooth.
Panavia A brand name for a type of dental cement.
Partial dentures Dentures replacing some missing teeth as opposed to a full denture.
PBCshort for “porcelain bonded crown”. Porcelain covered over a gold full crown
Periodontal ligament The connecting ligament between a tooth and the bony socket.
Periapical (cf: PA) Area around the apex of a tooth-small radiograph showing details of the root and tooth apex.
Periapical Abscess Inflammation and pain at the apex of the tooth.
Periapical lesion Disease around the root tip of a tooth
Pericoronitis Infection causing pain and sore gums around a partially erupted wisdom tooth.
PGT short for “Prolonged gum treatment”.
PJC short for “Porcelain Jacket crown”.
Pin Small metal post placed in a tooth to support a filling.
Pocket depth The amount of space between the gum line and the jawbone. measured in MM.
Pocket charting A guide to the health of the teeth and gums by measurement of bone support around teeth. Poly FA brand name for a permanent cement for crowns and bridges.
Pontic A false tooth.
Porcelain Veneer An artificial replacement to restore missing tooth structure
Post Crown A crown that is supported by means of a post placed into the root canal of a tooth, and to which a crown can be attached.
Precision attachment An attachment that is used to ensure a precision fit between a crown and a denture.
Prosthesis An artificial replacement of an absent part of the body.
Pulp (nerve) The pulp chamber is deep inside your tooth and is the nerve.
Pulpectomy Partial nerve removal.
Pulp Necrosis Dead pulp
Pulpitis Inflammation of the pulp (nerve) usually is a sign of infection.
Pus Caused by the build-up of infected tissue
Radiolucency A dark area on an x-ray
Radiopaque A light area on an x-ray
Relining A technique for tightening a loose denture.
Retention plate An appliance used to hold teeth in position after orthodontic treatment.
Retainer An appliance used to hold teeth in position after orthodontic treatment to stop them from moving back.
Retrograde root filling The sealing of the root apex of a tooth following an apicoectomy.
Root canal treatment The removal of the nerve (pulp) from a tooth with a special instrument called a dental reamer (rather like a small dental file). The root is removed, irrigated and shaped. It is then filled with an inert material called Gutta Percha or GP and sealed.
Root filling A filling placed into the root after the nerve has been removed
Root Planing A deep form of scaling where calculus is removed from the root surface of the teeth. Often used with patients who have periodontal disease.
Rubber Dam Sheet of rubber used to stop particles of teeth and dental instruments from being inhaled or ingested. Used mostly in root canal therapy.
Sedanol A brand name sedative dressing material.
Sensodyne A brand name toothpaste.
Shimstock Paper thin foil used to check the contact between opposing teeth.
Sinus Hollow cavity in the jawbone.
S&P Short for scale and polish.
Soft Lining Used to cushion the gums, it is a flexible material that is bonded to a denture.
Spoon Denture Small upper denture held in by suction according to the shape of the upper palate.
Supragingival Above the gum margin.
Subgingival Below the gum margin.
Subluxation Partial displacement of a tooth
Supernumerary An extra tooth.
TTP Short for “Tender to percussion” where a tooth is tapped with a dental instrument to test if an infection or an abscess is present.
Tempbond A brand name for a temporary cement.
Temporomandibular joint The hinge joint between upper and lower jaws.
Temporary Bridge Uses a temporary structure to aid treatment planning.
TMJ Dysfunction Often diagnosed in the form of clicking or grinding of the TMJ. Can be very painful, especially when yawning.
Trigeminal Nerve Provides nerve supply to the head
Tubiseal A brand name for root canal filling material.
Veneer Shell of porcelain or plastic placed on teeth to improve the aesthetic appearance. Works in the same way as a false fingernail.
Vitality testing Testing the tooth with a cold solution to see if the tooth is still alive.
Wear Facets The areas of wear on the cusps of teeth indicating a tooth grinding habit
White filling (composite) A mixture of resin and other materials to give a set material of tooth color.