Dental Terms Rockville, MD

Amalgam – Material made from mercury and other alloy mixtures used to restore teeth.

Bitewings – X-rays that help a dentist diagnose cavities.
Bonding – Application of tooth-colored resin materials to the surface of the teeth.
Bridge – A fixed or removable appliance that replaces lost teeth.
Bruxism – Teeth grinding.

Calculus – Also called tartar, a sticky substance that has hardened.
Canal – The narrow chamber inside the tooth’s root.
Canker sore – Occurs on the delicate tissues inside your mouth, light-colored at its base and can have a red exterior border.
Cold sore – Occurs on the outside of the mouth, near the nose or lips, very contagious.
Composite filling – Tooth colored restorations, also known as resin fillings.
Composite resin – A tooth colored resin combined with porcelain and used as a resin.
Crown – An artificial cover that is placed on the top of a tooth following restoration.
Crown Lengthening – A Periodontal procedure to improve the esthetics of gum line. Removing gum tissues covering the tooth.

Dentin – The tooth layer underneath the enamel.
Denture – A removable set of teeth.
Decay– Decomposition of tooth, causes cavities.

Endodontics – Dentistry that addresses problems affecting the tooth’s root or nerve.
Extraction – removal of the entire tooth permanently

FMX – Full Mouth X ray series
Fluoride – A natural substance added to water, and toothpastes, used for strengthening the tooth’s enamel.

Gingivitis – A minor disease of the gums caused by plaque.
Gum disease – Also called periodontal disease, An infection of the gum tissues.

Impacted teeth – A condition in which a tooth fails to erupt or only partially erupts.
Implant – A permanent appliance used to replace root of a missing tooth.
Inlay – Filling made of various materials, including porcelain, resin, or gold.

Mandible – The lower jaw.
Maxilla – The upper jaw.
Molar – Usually the largest teeth with large chewing surface, near the rear of the mouth.

Night guard – Fabricated appliance, usually used overnight to help with teeth grinding.

Onlay – A filling designed to protect the chewing surface of a tooth.
Orthodontics – A field of dentistry that deals with tooth and jaw alignment.
Overdenture – A non-fixed dental appliance applied to a small number of natural teeth or implants.

PAN – One large X ray of the whole mouth, usually taken to see wisdom teeth.
Palate – Roof of the mouth.
Partial denture – A removable appliance that replaces teeth. Also called a bridge.
Perio pocket – An opening formed by receding gums.
Periodontist – A dentist who treats diseases of the gums.
Plaque – A sticky, colorless substance that covers the teeth after sleep or periods between brushing.
Posterior teeth – Back teeth.
Prophylaxis – The act of cleaning the teeth.
Pulp – The inner tissues of the tooth containing blood, nerves and connective tissue.

Receding gum – A condition in which the gums separate from the tooth, allowing bacteria and other substances to attack the tooth’s enamel and surrounding bone.
Resin filling – Also called composite filling, is an artificial filling used to restore teeth.
Root canal – A procedure in which a tooth’s nerve is removed and inner canals are cleansed and later filled.
Root planing – Scraping or cleansing of teeth to remove heavy buildup of tartar below the gum line.

Sealant – A synthetic material placed on the tooth’s surface that protects the enamel and chewing surfaces.

TMJ – Temporomandibular joint disorder. Problems related to the jaw joint just in front of the ear.
Tarter – Also called Calculus, that sticks to the tooth’s surface.

Veneer – A thin shell , usually made of porcelain, that is bonded to the enamel of a front tooth.