Oral Health - Doctor insights

Oral Health definition

Amalgam - Silver-colored filling material; may also be referred to as a restoration or filling.

Bitewings - X-rays of the top and bottom molars and pre-molars to show decay between teeth or under fillings.

Bridge - A non-removable appliance that replaces one or more missing teeth with false teeth and attaches to healthy teeth.

Calculus (Tartar) - Hardened plaque on teeth, requiring scaling to remove.

Caries - Cavities and decay.

Complete Mouth Survey - (CMS) Multiple X-rays taken of the entire dental structure. For an adult, approximately 16-21 films.

Composite - A tooth colored filling material; also referred to as a filling.

Cosmetic Dentistry - Beautifying teeth and smile through bleaching, bonding, closing spaces, and improving appearance of teeth.

Crown - A gold or porcelain cap that covers a tooth.

Edentulous - Having no teeth.

Endodontics - Department/process providing root canal treatment for teeth with diseased pulp.

Gingiva - Gums.

Gingivitis - Inflammation of the gum tissue; common reversible gum disease that occurs when plaque is not removed.

Impacted - Describes a tooth not visible above the gum line.

Implant - An artificial tooth substitute, surgically implanted in the bone.

Inlays - A gold, porcelain or composite filling placed within the cusps of the tooth.

Occlusal - The chewing or grinding surface of a tooth.

Onlays - Porcelain or gold restorations covering at least one cusp of the tooth.

Operative Dentistry - Department providing fillings, crowns, and cosmetic dentistry.

Oral Pathology - Study of diseases and pain of mouth and jaw.

Oral Surgery - Department where extractions of teeth are performed as well as general surgical procedures in the jaws, and lower facial area.

Orthodontics - Department providing bands (braces) for straightening teeth.

Partial - (RPD; Removable partial denture) Removable replacement for missing teeth that rests on the gums with clasps that attach to remaining teeth.

Pediatric Dentistry - Department providing dentistry for children under the age of 16.

Periodontics - Department providing treatment for gum disease and resulting bone loss.

Plaque - Soft deposits of bacteria and debris that collect on teeth.

Pocket - Abnormally deep space between the gum tissue and the teeth where bacteria can enter, causing gum disease.

Preventive Dentistry - Teeth cleaning and instruction to prevent gum disease.

Prophylaxis - Prophy; a basic teeth cleaning.

Prosthesis - A cemented or removable replacement for missing teeth.

Prosthodontics - Department where crowns, bridges, partials, and dentures are made.

Pulpitis - An infection of the nerve inside a tooth.

Pulpotomy - Removal of only the pulp tissue in the crown of the tooth, an endodontic procedure.

Radiographs - X-rays.

Recall - Appointment for a patient who is returning for maintenance or follow up care.

Restoration - Filling used to restore the tooth.

Root Canal Therapy - (RCT, endodontic therapy) Removal of the nerve inside a tooth and subsequent filling of this space.

Scaling and Root Planing - Cleaning teeth to remove calculus and plaque above and below the gum line.

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