Kyrene Family Dentistry’s Glossary of Dental Health Terms

At Kyrene Family Dentistry, we are committed to providing our patients with the highest quality of dental care. However, we understand that there are times when, in the middle of a consultation with a trusted Chandler dentist, they encounter a term that they are not familiar with. These terms could be old ones that have been used by dental professionals for years or new words that have just been approved.

Amalgam – A dental filling made of silver/mercury alloy that is used to fill cavities that have been caused by tooth decay.

Bleaching – Also known as teeth whitening, it is a dental cosmetic procedure that whitens teeth to restore natural color and remove stains and discolorations.

Caries– These are the cavities in the mouth. Also known as tooth decay.

Carcinogenic – Something that has the potential to cause cancer.

Cariogenic – Something that has the potential cause the development of tooth decay.

Composite – Dental composite resins are synthetic resins that are used as restorative materials or adhesives. They are tooth-colored, easy to mold, insensitive to dehydration, and affordable.

Cosmetic dentistry– A type of dentistry that deals with the aesthetic improvement of a person’s teeth. Services include teeth whitening, veneers, and more.

Edentulous – A term for having lost all or majority of a person’s natural teeth.

Endodontist – A dentist who specializes in the treatment of diseases or injuries connected to the dental pulp.

General dentist  – A primary dental healthcare provider for patients, regardless of the age group they belong to. General dentists diagnose, treat, manage, and coordinate with patients in order to help them meet their dental health needs.

Geriatric dentist – A dentist who is primarily dedicated to treating senior citizens.

Gingivitis – A type of gum disease that is characterized by the inflammation of the gum tissue.

Malocclusion – Literally means a bad bite, malocclusion is a condition where there is a misalignment between the teeth and the jaws.

Microair abrasion – A drill-free technique where an instrument that looks similar to a small sand blaster delivers aluminum oxide particles to the surface of the teeth, where they effectively cut away decayed areas.

Mouthguards – Usually a plastic shield placed inside the mouth to protect the teeth and gums from injury while engaging in a sport or extreme physical activity.

Occlusal surface – The chewing surface of the teeth.

Oral and maxillofacial surgeon – A surgeon who specializes in treating and surgically correcting any disease, injury, or defect in the mouth and jaws.

Oral pathologist – An oral health professional who examines oral tissues to locate any evidence of a suspected abnormality, such as cancer.

Orthodontics – A branch of dentistry that deals with the correction and prevention of the irregularities of the teeth, through braces, retainers, and other similar equipment.

Orthodontist – A dentist who specializes in the design and application of corrective and supportive devices such as braces, to properly align crooked teeth.

Pediatric dentist – A dentist who provides dental care and treatment for children and young adults.

Periodontal disease – A disease that causes the inflammation and irritation of the gums. If left untreated, it could cause the the jawbone to deteriorate and the teeth to fall out.

Periodontist – A dentist who diagnoses and treats diseases  concerning the tissues that support and surround the teeth, specifically periodontal disease.

Plaque – It is a pale yellow biofilm that is naturally formed by bacterial colonies that have attached themselves to the surface of the teeth.

Porcelain veneers – Ultra-thin shells made of ceramic material that are bonded to the front of teeth to improve overall appearance.

Prophylaxis – The process of performing professional cleaning on the teeth by a dentist or hygienist in order to prevent decay and disease.

Prosthodontist – A dentist who constructs artificial devices for the teeth that are designed to restore the appearance and maintain oral function. This is done by replacing any missing teeth by using artificial structures such as dentures.

Public health dentist – A dentist that specializes in providing the dental health needs of an entire community. He or she can design, create, and administer large-scale dental care programs through the compilation and analysis of statistical data.

Resin – A plastic material that is commonly used to bond, restore, and replace damaged teeth.

Restorative dentistry – A branch of dentistry that deals with the restoration of missing, damaged, or diseased teeth to their original form.

Sealant – A plastic coating that is used to protect the teeth from decay and cavities.

Special patient – A person with disability; someone who requires specific dental care needs Third molars wisdom teeth.

TMD – Stands for temporomandibular disorder. It is a condition associated with the temporomandibular joint and is characterized by locking of the jaw, sore jaw muscles, constant headaches, and painful clicking of the jaw.

TMJ – The temporomandibular joint; the hinge joint between the lower jaw and the temporal bone.

Please keep in mind that this is a work in progress and will be updated over time, so if you do not find the term that you are looking for, feel free to contact us and we will be happy to update it for you.

Visit our homepage for dental care services or contact us at (480) 845-0475 today to schedule an appointment with our Chandler dentist.