The following dental terms have the meanings indicated:
Abrasion - The abnormal wearing away of the tooth by chewing, incorrect brushing methods, grinding or similar causes.
Alveoloplasty - A surgical procedure to reshape the jaw bones to achieve normal bone contour in preparation for tooth replacement via denture, partials or bridges.
Amalgam - A metal alloy used in filling teeth.
Apicoectomy - The surgical removal of the root tip.
Appliance - A device used to provide function or therapeutic effect.
Attrition - The normal oss of tooth substance resulting from friction during chewing.
Cephalometric x-rays - X-rays used in studying the measurements of the head in relation to specific soft tissue and bony reference points.
Cleft palate - A birth defect resulting in an incomplete closure or formation of the palate.
Debridement - The removal of plaque and tartar, above and below the gumline, which makes the ability to evaluate the gum condition difficult.
Equilibration - Changing the occlusal forms of the teeth by selective grinding, with the interest of balancing occlusal stresses more evenly on the teeth.
Erosion - Chemical or mechanical destruction of tooth substance, the mechanism of which is incompletely known, that leads to the creation of a depression in the tooth surface at the gumline.
Exostosis - An excessive growth of bone.
Frenum - The fibers that attach the cheek, lips or tongue to the tissue lining the mouth.
Frenectomy - Surgical removal or loosening of the frenum.
Functional appliance - An appliance used to achieve minor tooth movement, to strengthen the muscles of the oral cavity or to maintain space created by the loss or delayed eruption of the teeth.
Gingiva - The soft tissue which covers a tooth or the gum surrounding a tooth.
Gingivectomy - The surgical removal of the unsupported gingiva to the level where it is attached.
Gingivoplasty - Surgical contouring of the gingiva to facilitate maintenance of tissue health and integrity.
Implant - A device specially designed to be placed surgically within or on the mandibular or maxillary bone as a means of providing for dental replacement of a missing tooth.
Lingual - Pertaining to the tongue.
Macrognathia - A definite overgrowth of the mandible and maxilla.
Mandible - The lower jaw.
Mandibular - Pertaining to the lower jaw.
Maxilla - The upper jaw.
Maxillary - Pertaining to the upper jaw.
Micrognathia - An abnormal smallness of the jaws, especially the mandible.
Myofunctional therapy - Training to curb or eliminate abnormal muscle function of the oral cavity.
Occlusal - The chewing surfaces of the posterior teeth.
Occlusion - The contact between the upper and lower teeth when in a closed position.
Palate - The roof of the mouth.
Palatal - Pertaining to the roof of the mouth.
Palliative - Action that relieves pain but does not cure the cause of the pain.
Panoramic film - An x-ray that offers a full view of the entire length of the jaws in a single x-ray.
Periapical - The area surrounding or enclosing the root tip of a tooth.
Periodontitis - Gingival changes that occur due to infection and loss of attachment between the tooth and gums. Periodontitis is a long-term progressive disease.
Periradicular - Around the root.
Pontic - The term used for the artificial tooth on a bridge.
Prophylaxis - The removal of plaque, tartar and stains on the crown portion of the teeth, including polishing.
Pulp cap - The covering of an exposed dental nerve with material that protects it from foreign irritants.
Quadrant - One of the four equal sections into which the dental arches can be divided; begins at the middle of the arch and goes to the last tooth on either side.
Rebase - Process of refitting a denture by replacing the acrylic base material.
Resin - Broad term used to indicate an organic substance that is usually tooth colored. Composite resin used in filling teeth, most often in the front of the mouth.
Retrograde filling - A method of sealing the root canal by preparing and filling it from the root tip.
Root planing - A procedure designed to remove bacteria, tartar and diseased root tissue from the root surfaces. Often referred to as "deep cleaning."
Temporomandibular joint - The joint formed by the connection of the lower jaw to the skull.
Trigeminal nerve - The main nerve that provides feeling to the muscles and tissues of the face, jaws and teeth.
Vertical dimension - The vertical height of the face with teeth in occlusion.
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