Dental Glossary of Terms
Thank you for visiting our website. Elegant Dentistry PLLC believes that every patient should be familiar with some of the frequent dental phrases they will encounter throughout routine dental care. Here are some terms you should be acquainted with:
Amalgam - Material made from mercury and other alloy mixtures used to restore a drilled portion of a tooth. Amalgam (metal) and composite (white / metal-free) fillings are available at The Elegant Dentistry. To find out which type of filling is best for you, speak with one of our knowledgeable dentists.
Analgesics - Pain-relieving medications. To make your appointment as stress-free and pain-free as possible, Elegant Dentistry fully numbs the problematic regions before initiating treatment.
Anterior teeth - The six upper or six lower front teeth. Also called incisors and cuspids.
Antibiotics - medications that prevent or slow the growth of germs.
Apex - The tip of the root of a tooth.
Appliance - Any detachable dental restorative or orthodontic device
Arch - The alignment of the upper or lower teeth
Attrition - The usual wear and tear on a tooth's surface caused by chewing and natural wear.
Bicuspids - (also known as premolars) are the teeth in front of each set of molars in adults.
Bite - The manner the top and lower teeth connect is referred to as the bite when closing the mouth.
Bleaching - This is a chemical or laser therapy that whitens or lightens the color of stained or discolored teeth. Professionally applied and at-home teeth whitening services are available at The Elegant Dentistry. Teeth whitening is one of the most painless and cost-effective treatments to improve your smile's brilliance. Don't put off getting the smile you deserve any longer.
Bonding - A technique that is used to adhere a filling or filling material to a tooth. This is used to repair chipped, cracked, misshapen, or discolored teeth, as well as to fill gaps between teeth. The dental team of The Elegant Dentistry is highly skilled at repairing cracked, chipped, or discolored teeth. Avoid the embarrassment of this kind of smile. Consult with one of our dentists to develop a treatment plan to address this common issue.
Braces - Orthodontists use braces to gradually reposition teeth. Orthodontists use devices (bands, wires, ceramic appliances) to gradually reposition teeth to a more favorable alignment.
Bridge - When one or more teeth are missing, a bridge is a non-removable tooth replacement that is attached to adjacent natural teeth. A dental bridge is an excellent option for people who are missing some but not all of their natural teeth.
Bruxism - The uncontrollable clenching or grinding of the teeth is known as bruxism. Skilled dentists recognize the symptoms of bruxism and know how to protect your teeth from its damaging effects. Bruxism, if left untreated, can result in significant tooth wear and loss.
Calcium - A mineral that is required for the development of healthy teeth, bones, and nerves.
Calculus - A tough residue that forms on teeth as a result of the buildup of plaque and is often yellow or brown in color; it is also referred to as "tartar." Having your teeth professionally cleaned once every six months is one of the most basic things you can do to improve and protect your smile. Plaque accumulation can promote and hasten gum disease and tooth decay over time.
Canker sores - Small shallow white ulcers that occur in the mouth and make eating and talking difficult; they usually appear between the ages of 10 and 20 and remain approximately a week before vanishing.
Caries - commonly triggered by tooth decay and is dental infection caused by bacteria's toxins.
Cavities - a type of decay that causes a hole in a tooth. Brushing, flossing, frequent dental cleanings/exams, and responding quickly to cure cavities with dental fillings are the keys to preventing cavities. Make an appointment with Elegant Dentistry today to keep cavities at bay and to protect your dental health.
Cleaning - Plaque and tartar removal from teeth, usually above the gum line. Today is the day to get your teeth cleaned at Elegant Dentistry.
Composite Filling - a dental appliance consisting of any of various substances (as metal or plastic) inserted into a prepared cavity in a tooth. Each type of filling has benefits and drawbacks, so talk to your family dentist to figure out which one is right for you.
Cosmetic dentistry - a branch of dentistry under which treatments are performed to enhance the color and shape of teeth. It includes procedures such as teeth whitening and veneers that improve the appearance of your smile. Elegant Dentistry can help you improve your smile with a number of procedures from tooth whitening to repairing broken, chipped, or missing teeth.
Crown - Dental restoration made of porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, stainless steel, gold alloy, and other base metal alloys. The crown usually covers the tooth from the occlusal surface to the gingival margin.
Cuspids - These are the front teeth with one rounded or sharp biting edge. Between the incisors and bicuspids, the large pointed teeth in the corners of the mouth are known as "canine" or "eye teeth."
Cusps - The raised round parts on the chewing surface of the teeth.
Decay - also called dental cavities or dental caries is the destruction of the outer surface (enamel) of a tooth. Decay results from the action of bacteria that live in plaque, which is a sticky, whitish film formed by a protein in saliva (mucin) and sugary substances in the mouth. The plaque bacteria sticking to tooth enamel use the sugar and starch from food particles in the mouth to produce acid. Elegant Dentistry hygienists are ready to assist you and your family in combating tooth decay.
Deciduous teeth - The first set of teeth commonly called “baby teeth”. In humans the deciduous dentition consists of 20 teeth, made up of incisors (8), canines (4) and molars (8) only. These are replaced by a second, permanent set of teeth together with several molars that are not present as deciduous teeth. Even though "baby teeth" are only temporary, they still require the same level of attention as permanent teeth. Around the time of his first birthday, your infant should receive his first dental examination. Maintaining "baby teeth" is an important initial step in ensuring that adult teeth grow properly, come in properly, and are free of disease. You should also begin teaching your child good brushing and flossing habits as soon as possible. Bring your child to Elegant Dentistry today for a cleaning and exam to start them on the path to good oral health.
Demineralization - In a carious lesion, demineralization is the loss of minerals from tooth enamel immediately beneath the surface; it usually appears as a white spot on the tooth surface.
Denture - a complement of teeth, either natural or artificial; ordinarily used to designate an artificial replacement for the natural teeth and adjacent tissues. There are two types of detachable dentures: total and partial. When all of the teeth are lost, complete dentures are utilized, while partial dentures are used when some natural teeth remain.
Dentin - The chief substance of the teeth, surrounding the tooth pulp and covered by the enamel on the crown and by cementum on the roots.
Diastema - The space between teeth.
Dry Mouth - The flow of saliva is diminished, and there is insufficient saliva to keep the mouth wet. Medications (such as antihistamines and decongestants), disorders (such as Sjögren's syndrome, HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes), medical treatments (such as head and neck radiation), nerve damage, dehydration, cigarette use, and surgical removal of the salivary glands can all cause dry mouth. Xerostomia is a term used to describe a condition when the body lacks water.
Edentulous - Toothless, having lost the natural teeth.
Enamel - White, compact, and very hard substance covering and protecting the dentin of the crown of a tooth.
Endodontics - A branch of dentistry that studies biology and pathology of the tooth's dental pulp and root tissues, as well as the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases and injuries to these tissues. The endodontic procedure root canal therapy is one of the most common.
Eruption- the emergence of the tooth from its position in the jaw.
Extraction - The process of removing teeth. Teeth that are severely decayed, have advanced gum disease, have sustained a traumatic injury, or are crowded or impacted may require extraction. Elegant Dentistry’s experienced dentists can help you determine if removing a tooth is the best course of action.
Filling- the restoration of lost tooth structure with metal, porcelain, or resin materials.
Flap Surgery - The lifting of gum tissue to expose and clean underlying tooth and bone structures.
Fistula - A gum boil is a fistula, which is a conduit that emanates pus from an infection site.
Flap Surgery - The raising of the gum tissue to expose and clean the underlying tooth and bone structures is known as flap surgery.
Flossing is a thread-like material that is used to clean between the teeth' contact surfaces; it is an important aspect of a regular daily oral hygiene routine.
Fluoride is a mineral that helps to build the enamel of teeth, leaving them less vulnerable to decay. Fluoride can be absorbed through food or drink, found in most kinds of toothpaste, or administered to the surface of teeth by a dentist as a gel or liquid.
Fluorosis - Known as enamel mottling, is a darkening of the enamel caused by excessive fluoride consumption (more than one part per million) into the bloodstream.
General Dentist - The primary dental care provider. Services include gum care, root canals, fillings, crowns, veneers, bridges, preventive education, and treating disorders of the mouth are all things that this dentist diagnoses, treats, and manages.
Gingiva - The pink tissue that surrounds the teeth, and surrounds the soft tissue at the base of the teeth.
Gingivectomy - Procedure where the gum tissue is surgically removed.
Gingivitis - A condition in which the gum tissue becomes inflamed, reddish, and swollen. It also bleeds easily when touched or stroked. It's the initial step in a chain of events that starts with plaque buildup in the mouth and can lead to periodontitis and tooth loss due to damage of the tissue that surrounds and supports the teeth if not adequately treated. Make an appointment at our Edina clinic today to find out whether you have gum disease and how to effectively prevent and treat it.
Gingivoplasty - A periodontal operation that reshapes the gum tissue.
Gold Fillings - Alternatives to silver amalgam fillings.
Gum recession - occurs when the gums shrink as a result of abrasion, erosion, periodontal disease, or surgery, exposing the tooth roots.
Halimeter - A device that is used to diagnose and cure halitosis (bad breath).
Halitosis- “Bad breath” might be a sign of a more serious dental problem. Visit Elegant Dentistry if you have halitosis. Let us check to see whether you have a more serious dental problem, clean your teeth professionally, and assist you in overcoming bad breath.
Hard Palate -The front bony section of the roof of the mouth.
Heat Sterilization - When instruments are placed in a chamber and the temperature is raised, heat sterilization destroys all bacteria on them. To ensure that all of our tools are thoroughly sterilized, The Elegant Dentistry’s sterilization lab and sterilization technicians use state-of-the-art autoclaves that use both heat and pressure.
Hygienist - A licensed auxiliary dental professional who is both an oral health educator and clinician who employs preventive, therapeutic, and educational strategies to control oral disease.
Hypersensitivity - Abrupt painful reaction in teeth when exposed to hot, cold, sweet, sour, salty, chemical, or mechanical stimuli.
Impacted Tooth - A tooth that is partially or totally stopped from erupting through the gum surface is known as an impacted tooth. An impacted tooth can crowd other teeth or harm the bone tissues that support the neighboring tooth. Impacted teeth are frequently surgically removed. If you are from Minnesota, you can always call us here at Elegant Dentistry for a full checkup. We offer a free consultation with one of our skilled dentists.
Implant - An implant is a medically inserted fixed substitute for a missing tooth or support for a bridge or denture. Dental implants are available at Elegant Dentistry for patients who desire the most permanent and long-lasting solution to their dental problems, such as lost teeth, the anchoring of dental equipment, or dental crowns. During your next treatment planning appointment, ask your friendly dentist if a dental implant is correct for you.
Impression - A mold of the teeth and soft tissues is called an impression. The dentists at Elegant Dentistry use dental impressions to model the mouth in order to properly make and fit dental implants, crowns, dentures, and other dental equipment.
Incisors - the four single-cusped (pointed) front teeth that are used to chop food.
Inlay - A solid filling that is cemented into place and covers one or more tooth cusps. It is commonly composed of gold-alloy molded to fit the missing section of the tooth. Elegant Dentistry’s expert dentists can help you decide if an inlay is best for you. On your next visit, speak with one of our experienced dentists, or make an appointment today.
Jacket - A porcelain crown for a front tooth is known as a jacket. Jackets are a type of dental crown that are used to cover chipped, broken, or decayed teeth. Dental crowns are a specialty of the dentists at Elegant Dentistry. A visit with one of our dentists can assist you in determining whether a dental crown is a viable option for your dental requirements.
Jawbone - The hard bone that supports the face and includes alveolar bone, which anchors the teeth.
Laminate Veneer - A thin plastic or porcelain shell that is put to the front of a tooth to restore, reinforce, or improve its appearance. Misshapen teeth, crooked teeth, chipped teeth, fractured teeth, and discolored/stained teeth can all be corrected with dental veneers. Laminate veneers can be utilized for a variety of cosmetic and restorative purposes, including giving you the bright, long-lasting smile you've always desired. Visit Elegant Dentistry now to discuss laminate veneers with one of our dentists.
Laser - A type of light-emitting equipment used in dentistry to cure (harden) restorative tooth materials, improve tooth whitening, and remove diseased tooth structure.
Laughing Gas - Nitrous oxide gas is used to provide patients a slight type of drowsiness. In worried patients or patients undergoing lengthy treatments, nitrous gas is utilized to alleviate anxiety and promote a state of relaxation. Elegant Dentistry provides nitrous oxide or laughing gas for our patients' comfort.
Local anesthesia - A type of anesthetic that relieves pain in a specific area, such as novocaine. One of our top priorities at Elegant Dentistry is the comfort of our patients. Our dentists are trained to numb a treatment region completely before beginning work.
Malocclusion - A term that refers to a "poor bite" or misalignment of the teeth or jaws.
Mandible - The lower jaw
Maxilla - The upper jaw Mercury is a metal that is found in amalgam fillings.
Molars - are the three back teeth in each dental quadrant that are used to grind food.
Mouthguard - A piece of equipment that is put into the mouth and worn over the teeth to protect them from harm or impact. If you or a family member engages in contact sports, Elegant Dentistry recommends that you get a mouthguard and wear it to help avoid or limit severe harm to your teeth and gums.
Muscle relaxant - A drug used to relieve pain by reducing muscular spasms.
Nerve - Is where the dental pulp or interior chamber of a tooth is located
Night Guard - A detachable acrylic appliance worn at nighttime to reduce the consequences of teeth grinding (bruxism) and jaw/joint disorders. For those who experience teeth grinding, clenching, or jaw / joint issues, Elegant Dentistry can produce and fit a "Night Guard" appliance. Discuss this efficient dental appliance with our team today.
Nitrous oxide - Popularly known as "laughing gas," is a gas used to alleviate patient anxiety. Patients were given nitrous oxide gas to induce a slight type of drowsiness.
Nursing Bottle Syndrome - A condition in which a baby's teeth become severely decayed as a result of sleeping with a milk or juice bottle in his or her mouth. The drink's natural sugars react with microorganisms in the mouth to form acid, which causes tooth decay. Nursing Bottle Syndrome can be diagnosed and treated during a regular check-up and dental exam. Early detection and treatment of these childhood dental problems are crucial for your child's dental health. Bring your youngster in today for a dental cleaning and oral exam. Our Edina dentists are here to help.
Occlusion - Closure refers to the relationship between the upper and lower teeth when they are closed.
Onlay - A gold or porcelain inlay that extends over the cusps to safeguard the tooth. The dentists at Elegant Dentistry can help you figure out if an onlay is the best option for your damaged tooth.
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon - A specialist who diagnoses and treats diseases, injuries, and abnormalities of the mouth and supporting tissues through surgery.
Oral and maxillofacial surgery - Includes extractions, cyst or tumor removal, and jaw fracture healing.
Oral cavity- also known as the mouth
Oral hygiene - The practice of keeping teeth and related structures clean.
Oral pathologist - A dentist who specializes in the study of oral diseases.
Oral surgery - A type of surgery that deals with the mouth.
Orthodontics is a dentistry specialty that fixes tooth misalignment with braces or a retainer.
Overbite - When the front teeth overlap vertically.
Overdenture - A denture or prosthetic device that fits over residual roots or dental implants to provide the denture more stability. Elegant Dentistry creates and fits overdentures. To find out if an overdenture is right for you, speak with us today.
Overjet - an excessive protrusion of the upper jaw resulting in a horizontal overlap of the front teeth.
Palate - hard and soft tissue forming the roof of the mouth
Panoramic X-ray - A form of X-ray that displays a two-dimensional depiction of all of the teeth in the mouth. The relationship of the teeth to the jaws and the jaws to the head can also be seen on this X-ray.
Partial Denture - A detachable appliance (prosthesis) that replaces missing teeth in the upper or lower jaw. For individuals who are missing multiple teeth in a row, Elegant Dentistry creates and fits partial dentures
Pediatric dentistry - A branch of dentistry that focuses on treating children's teeth.
Pedodontics - A dental specialty that focuses on children's dentistry.
Pedodontist - A dentist who specializes in treating children.
Periapical - The area at the end of a tooth root.
Periodontal Chart - Is used to measure the depth of gum pockets around the teeth.
Periodontal disease - The inflammation or disease of the gums.
Periodontal surgery - The reshaping or cosmetic treatment of diseased gums and supporting tissue.
Periodontics - The study of the gums, bones, and tissue supporting the teeth. Healthy gums and bones serve as the cornerstone of a beautiful smile. Elegant Dentistry employs expert periodontists to assist patients with gum disease and other gum and bone problems. Make an appointment with us today and meet some of the most competent periodontists in Edina, Minnesota.
Periodontist - A dentist who focuses on gum disease therapy.
Periodontitis - commonly called “gum disease” is a chronic inflammatory condition characterized by the breakdown of the supporting bone and tissue membrane surrounding the teeth' roots. Periodontitis is a more severe form of gum disease that necessitates treatment to avoid tooth and bone loss. With some of the most skilled periodontists in the Edina, Minnesota area, Elegant Dentistry is your reliable clinic if you have periodontitis.
Permanent Teeth - In a complete dentition, permanent teeth are the thirty-two adult teeth.
Pits - Microscopic flaws, indentions, or fissures in tooth enamel generated by natural wear rather than decay. While not a cavity (pits aren't caused by tooth decay), they're worth keeping an eye on because they're a popular spot for cavities to occur. One of the key functions of preventative dental care is to keep an eye on the natural locations in your mouth where cavities might form. Allow our skilled dentists and hygienists to monitor dental health for a bright and long-lasting smile by scheduling a dental cleaning and exam with Elegant Dentistry.
Plaque - A thick layer that accumulates on the surface of teeth and houses bacteria and acids beneath its surface, causing tooth disease. Periodontal disease is caused by plaque buildup irritating the gums. Tartar, often known as plaque, is the enemy of healthy teeth and a long-lasting, attractive smile. Plaque can be kept at bay with a daily brushing and flossing routine. A semi-annual visit to our Clinic in Edina for professional cleaning, fluoride treatment, and a full exam is also extremely important. To book your cleaning and examination, call Elegant Dentistry today.
Porcelain crown - Crown that covers the part of the tooth above the gum line. This protects the teeth that have been damaged or chipped due to decay. Elegant Dentistry dentists are dental crown experts. A visit with one of our dentists can help you decide whether a dental crown is right for you. Make an appointment to see one of our skilled dentists about a dental crown today.
Porcelain Inlay or Onlay - This is a tooth-colored porcelain restoration that is fused or bonded in place and extends to protect the tooth's cusps. Elegant Dentistry dentists can help you decide if an onlay is the best option for your damaged tooth. Schedule an appointment with one of our skilled dentists or speak with one during your next visit.
Porcelain Veneer - Are a thin veneer of porcelain that is bonded to a natural tooth to restore missing tooth structure, repair gaps, straighten teeth, or modify color and/or shape. Porcelain veneers can be utilized for a variety of cosmetic and restorative purposes, including giving you the bright, long-lasting smile you've always desired.
Preventive Services - Exams, cleanings, x-rays, and fluoride are some of the dental operations focused on the prevention of dental disorders by protective and instructional methods. Preventive services are the foundation of a healthy and beautiful smile, and booking an appointment for preventive services has never been easier thanks to Elegant Dentistry. Make an appointment for a thorough cleaning and full dental exam with us here in Edina, Minnesota.
Prophy - Jet Air polishing teeth to remove stains.
Prophylaxis - A professional cleaning that helps to avoid dental disease by removing plaque, calculus (mineralized plaque), and discoloration. Make an appointment with Elegant Dentistry’s friendly hygienists for a dental cleaning or prophylaxis today. Dental cleanings, which should be done on a regular basis, should be comprehensive and performed by an expert.
Prosthodontics - Crowns, bridges, dentures, and dental implants are popular operations in prosthodontics, which involve restoring natural teeth and replacing missing or lost teeth. Elegant Dentistry provides a comprehensive range of restorative dental services to help you get your smile back to its best. Our dentists are experienced in these procedures and are ready to give you the smile you've always wanted.
Prosthodontists - Dentists with areas of expertise on crowns, bridges, dentures, dental implants, TMD-jaw joint issues, and oral cancer repair.
Provider - The dentist or a specialist who provides the service.
Pulp - The inside of a tooth's pulp contains blood vessels and nerve tissue.
Pulp chamber - An aperture in the center of a tooth's crown that houses the pulp (nerve tissue) and extends to the root tip.
Pulpectomy (full pulp removal) - A procedure that is routinely used on children's teeth.
Radiation - Often known as “x-rays”, are images produced on a photographic film called radiography.
Reimplantation - The insertion and temporary fixing of a partially or completely dislodged tooth or teeth that have become dislodged as a result of severe damage. Reimplantation is performed by Elegant Dentistry in combination with the emergency care that it delivers to people of Edina, Minnesota on a regular basis.
Reline - Denture relining is the process of restoring the base of a denture using acrylic. The gums and jaw respond to the loss of natural teeth over time. The curve of the gum line changes as the area affected by tooth loss recovers, necessitating a modification to the lining of the dentures to return them back to a comfortable and fitting fit. Dentures can be relined and most ill-fitting and broken dental appliances can be repaired at Elegant Dentistry. Don't put up with a squeaky denture, partial denture, or other dental prosthetic. Visit us for a cleaning, full exam, and an evaluation of your denture, bridge, or other dental appliance's fit and performance.
Resin - Are tooth-colored metal-free resin/composite filling Composite (white/metal-free) and amalgam (metal) fillings which are available at Elegant Dentistry. Each type of filling has benefits and drawbacks; talk to your Edina dentist about which one is right for you.
Restoration - Tooth repair using artificial materials. It is usually done to replace or repair missing or damaged tooth structures.
Retained Tooth - After a natural tooth has been extracted or fractured, a partial root structure remains in the jaw.
retainer - After orthodontic treatment, a retainer is used to keep the teeth and jaws in their proper places.
Root - The part of the tooth that connects it to the jaw is called the root.
Root canal - The process wherein the pulp chamber is cleaned, sterilized, and filled with a permanent filling during a root canal treatment to save an abscessed tooth. At Elegant Dentistry, root canals are one of the most common restorative procedures. It can provide long-term pain relief for a badly infected tooth.
Root Canal Treatment - The pulp tissue of a tooth is removed owing to disease or injury, resulting in root canal treatment.
Root planing - A comprehensive cleansing of the teeth that removes plaque that has hardened beneath the gum line. Root planing, which is performed by a hygienist at Elegant Dentistry is a key preventative tool in maintaining healthy gums and a beautiful smile. If root planning is required, it will be determined after a cleaning, full exam, and consultation with your hygienist and dentist.
Root resection - The removal of a piece of the damaged root system while leaving the native tooth intact.
Scaling - A gum disease treatment that requires separating hardened plaque (tartar or calculus) from teeth. Scaling is one of the main preventative procedures done by Elegant Dentistry dental hygienists during a dental cleaning. Scaling is another reason why regular cleanings are important for protecting your smile.
Sealant - A plastic coating that is applied to the biting surface or grooves of the teeth to help stop decay. Sealants are often applied to individuals who are at risk of having poor dental health.
Space Maintainer - A dental device that holds the space created by the premature loss of baby teeth.
Splint - A connection of two or more teeth that allows them to function as a stronger single structure.
Subscriber - An insured, member, or enrollee.
Supernumerary tooth - An extra tooth.
Tartar - The tough residue that forms on teeth above and below the gum line as a result of plaque calcification. One of the relatively simple things you can do to fight tartar and improve or safeguard your smile is to have your teeth professionally cleaned once every six months. Tartar accumulation can promote and accelerate tooth decay over time. Our team in Elegant Dentistry are tartar eliminators. If it has been a long time since your last dental cleaning, it is time to schedule an appointment with us for a proper cleaning today.
Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) - Are problems with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), which also connects the lower jaw to the skull; they are generally associated with pops and pain in the joint.
Tooth Whitening - The process of lightening the teeth through the use of a chemical or laser process. Our Edina dentists provide both professional and at-home teeth whitening. Teeth whitening is one of the least painful and least expensive ways to brighten your smile. Don't put off getting the smile you deserve for much longer. Make your whitening appointment with Elegant Dentistry as soon as possible.
Xerostomia - Is characterized by a reduction in saliva production or a ‘dry mouth”. This can also lead to halitosis (prolonged bad breath), a rise in the number of cavities, and an increase in gum infections. Fewer saliva means minimal protection for your teeth, as saliva is essential for remineralizing tooth enamel. If you have a dry mouth, talk to us about your treatment options during your next visit here in Edina, Minnesota.
If you have any questions or concerns about Dental Glossary of Terms, please contact us at: info @elegant.dental
Elegant Dentistry PLLC6545 France Ave S STE 681A, Edina, MN 55435, United States