Dental Alphabet

ABUTMENT Abutments are the part of the bridge used to support the replacement of the missing teeth (pontics).

AMALGAM Silver filling. Amalgams are usually placed on the back teeth (posterior teeth).

BITEWING X-ray that shows the upper and lower teeth's biting surfaces on the same film. This x-ray shows the portion of the teeth above the gumline.

BRUXISM Clenching or grinding of the teeth

CALCULUS The sticky film on your teeth (plaque) that has hardened (calcified). Also known as tartar.

CARIES (DENTAL) The clinical name for dental decay.

COMPOSITE (RESIN) RESTORATION The technical name for a 'white filling'. Although used primarily at the front of the mouth, these fillings are increasingly being placed in molar teeth because of advances in material technology.

DECIDUOUS TEETH The baby teeth. Also known as the 'milk teeth'. There are twenty deciduous teeth.

EDENTULOUS All the teeth are missing in either the upper and / or lower jaw.

ENDODONTICS The treatment of diseases or injuries that affect the root tip or nerve of the tooth. The most common procedure is a root canal treatment.

GINGIVITIS Inflammation of the gums characterised by redness, bleeding and swelling. In certain instances, the condition may also cause pain (e.g. ANUG).

IMPACTION An unerupted or partially erupted tooth that will not fully erupt because it is obstructed by another tooth, bone, or soft tissue.

MANDIBLE The Lower Jaw

MAXILLA The Upper Jaw

OCCLUSAL The chewing surfaces of the back tooth Periapical Abbreviation for a Periapical Radiograph (X-ray) .

PROPHYLAXIS Cleaning the teeth. Also known as a prophy.

PROSTHETICS prosthetics A fixed or removable appliance to replace missing teeth. Example: bridges, dentures and partials. Sometimes single crowns are considered prosthetics.

QUADRANT One of the four equal sections of the mouth. The upper right, upper left, lower right or the lower left.

RESTORATIVE Procedures performed to restore the missing part of the teeth.

SEALANT (FISSURE SEALANT) Clear or coloured application of resin placed over the biting surface of the tooth to help prevent decay. Most commonly placed on newly erupted first permanent molar teeth.

T.M.J. Temporo (temporal bone), mandibular (lower jaw). This is the connecting hinge between the lower jaw and base of the skull. Also known as TMJ.