DENTAL
DICTIONARY

The world of dentistry is filled with jargon used by dental staff to describe specific conditions, tools, or parts of your mouth. This list will help you with knowing what a lot of the most common terms mean.

Abscess

Typically the result of an infection, this is a pocket of pus located within the mouth. If not drained, it can cause pressure related pain.

Abutment

Teeth that are responsible for anchoring a bridge or denture or adjacent to a missing tooth gap. These teeth are often filed down to mount the structure for bridges and dentures.

Alveolus

In your jaw bone, this is the gap or opening where the tooth attaches to the jaw itself.

Amalgam

When a filling is made from a mixture of gold or silver along with other metals, it is called an amalgam.

Anatomy

The arrangement of muscles, bones, and organs in your body. It’s sort of the “road map” of your body that we refer to in order to get to specific parts.

Antiseptic

A chemical compound that can be applied to tissue or teeth in order to kill germs and prevent infections.

Anesthetic

Whether topical, gas, or IV, an anesthetic helps reduce or eliminate sensation, allowing us to work on your teeth and gums without causing great discomfort.

Anterior

This term simply refers to a front view or the front part of your mouth.

Anterior Teeth

Your centrals, laterals, and cuspids are your anterior teeth, as these are located in the front part of your mouth.

Apex

The very tip of a tooth’s root is known as the apex of the tooth.

Arch

The arch of your teeth can either be the entire array of teeth or the basal bone of your jaw which holds them in place.

Articulator

This device holds a model of your teeth in the same arrangement as in your mouth, allowing us to easily examine your bite without needing to probe around.

Asepsis

Actively using various techniques to prevent contact with microorganisms, particularly pathogenic (harmful) microorganisms.

Aspirator

Your mouth is constantly producing saliva, and it can get in the way of dental work. This small vacuum hose sucks up all the moisture in your mouth.

Aspiration

The act of removing moisture from your mouth by using an aspirator.

Attrition

When you bite, chew, or drink anything, it causes some amount of wear on your teeth. This wearing of the teeth is called attrition.

Avulsed

Teeth that have been avulsed have been completely knocked out of your mouth, often due to a sudden impact.