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Dental Health Glossary

Abrasion
Abrasion is the pathological wearing away of tooth substance by mechanical means; grinding.

Abscess
Abscess is a collection of pus formed by tissue destruction in an inflamed area of a localized infection.

Abutment
Abutment is a natural tooth or implanted tooth substitute used to support or anchor a dental prosthesis.

Alveolar Process
Alveolar process is the ridge on the surfaces of the upper and lower jaws containing the tooth sockets.

Amalgam
Amalgam is any of various alloys of mercury with other metals, as with tin or silver, used for filling teeth.

Analgesia
Analgesia is a deadening or absence of the sense of pain without loss of consciousness.

Anesthesia
Anesthesia is a local or general insensibility to pain with or without the loss of consciousness, induced by an anesthetic.

Anterior Teeth
Anterior teeth are the six upper and lower front teeth.

Antibiotic
Antibiotic is a substance, such as penicillin or streptomycin, produced by or derived from certain fungi, bacteria, and other organisms, that can destroy or inhibit the growth of other microorganisms.

Aspirator
Aspirator is an apparatus for removing fluid from a body cavity, consisting usually of a hollow needle and a cannula, connected by tubing to a container in which a vacuum is created by a syringe or a suction pump.

Bleaching
Bleaching is the act or process of whitening, by removing color or stains.

Bonding
Bonding is a technique for repairing a tooth; resinous material is applied to the surface of the tooth where it adheres to the tooth's enamel.

Bruxism
Bruxism is the habitual involuntary grinding or clenching of the teeth, usually during sleep, as from anger, tension, fear, or frustration.

Bridge
Bridge is a fixed or removable replacement for one or several but not all of the natural teeth, usually anchored at each end to a natural tooth.

Calculus
Calculus is dental tartar.

Cap
Cap is a synonym for "crown".

Caries
Caries is the decay of a bone or tooth, especially dental caries.

Cavity
Cavities are a pitted area in a tooth caused by caries.

Crown
Crown is an artificial substitute for the natural crown of a tooth.

Deciduous Teeth
Deciduous teeth Fall off or shed at a specific stage of growth, as teeth of the first dentition.

Denture
Dentures are a partial or complete set of artificial teeth for either the upper or lower jaw. Also called dental plate.

Diastema
Diastema is a gap or space between two adjacent teeth in the same dental arch.

Enamel
Enamel is the hard, white substance that covers the crown of a tooth.

Endodontist
Endodontist is a dentist who specializes in the treatment of diseases and injuries that affect the tooth root, dental pulp, and the tissues surrounding the tooth root. 

Eruption
Eruption is the emergence of a tooth through the gums.

Extraction
Extraction is the removal by withdrawing or pulling out of a tooth from its socket.

Fluoride
Fluoride is a chemical used to prevent tooth decay

Filling
Fillings are materials, such as amalgam, gold, or a synthetic resin, used to fill a cavity in a tooth.

General Anesthesia
General anesthesia causes the loss of the ability to perceive pain associated with loss of consciousness, produced by anesthetic agents.

Gingivitis
Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gums, characterized by redness and swelling.

Halimeter
Halimeters test for levels of sulfur emissions (specifically, hydrogen sulfide) in the mouth air.

Halitosis
Halitosis is the condition of having foul-smelling breath. Also called fetor ex ore.

Heat Sterilization
Heat sterilization is an act of destroying all forms of life on and in bacteriological media, foods, hospital supplies, and other materials by means of moist or dry heat.

Hygienist
Hygienist is a person trained and licensed to provide preventive dental services, such as cleaning the teeth, usually in conjunction with a dentist.

Impacted Tooth
Impacted teeth are placed in the alveolus in a manner prohibiting eruption into a normal position.

Implant
Implants are artificial teeth that is anchored in the gums or jawbone to replace a missing tooth.

Inlay
Inlays are solid fillings, as of gold or porcelain, fitted to a cavity in a tooth and cemented into place.

Local Anesthesia
Local anesthesia is a regional anesthesia produced by direct infiltration of local anesthetic solution into the surgical site. Also called infiltration anesthesia.

Molars
Molars are the teeth with broad surfaces at the back of the mouth that serve to grind food. Including the wisdom teeth, adults have twelve molars six on the top and six on the bottom.

Nitrous Oxide
Nitrous oxide is a colorless sweet-tasting gas used as a mild anesthetic in dentistry and surgery.

Onlay
An onlay is a cast restoration, usually made of gold, that is attached to the occlusal surface of a tooth.

Oral Surgery
Oral surgery is the branch of dentistry concerned with the surgical and adjunctive treatment of diseases, injuries, and deformities of the oral and maxillofacial region.

Orthodontics
Orthodontics is the dental specialty and practice of preventing and correcting irregularities of the teeth, as by the use of braces. Also called orthodontia.

Orthodontist
An orthodontist a person who specializes in orthodontics.

Palate
The palate is the bony and muscular partition between the oral and nasal cavities; the roof of the mouth.

Partial Denture
Partial dentures are removable or fixed dental prosthesis that restores one or more, but less than all, of the natural teeth or associated parts and is supported by the teeth or the soft tissue. Also called bridgework.

Pediatric Dentistry
Pediatric dentistry is the dental specialty which focuses on the treatment of children.

Plaque
Plaque is a film of mucus and bacteria on a tooth surface. Also called bacterial plaque.

Prophylaxis
Prophylaxis is the prevention of or protective treatment for disease.

Prosthodontics
Prosthodontics is the branch of dentistry that deals with the replacement of missing teeth and related mouth or jaw structures by artificial devices.

Retainer
A retainer is an appliance used to hold teeth in position after orthodontic treatment.

Root Canal
A root canal is the chamber of the dental pulp lying within the root portion of a tooth. Also called pulp canal.

Root Resection
Root resection is the surgical removal of a dental root apex. Also called root resection.

Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is apnea caused by upper airway obstruction during sleep, associated with frequent awakening and often with daytime sleepiness.

Tartar
Tartar is the calcareous deposits of organic and mineral matter on the teeth.

Ultrasonic Cleaning
Ultrasonic cleaning is a method used to clean debris and swarf from surfaces by immersion in a solvent in which ultrasonic vibrations are excited.

Veneers
Veneers are a layer of tooth-colored material, usually porcelain or acrylic resin, attached to and covering the surface of a metal crown or natural tooth structure.

Wisdom Teeth
Wisdom teeth are the third molar tooth on both sides of each jaw that erupts from the 17th to the 23rd year.

Dental Societies

United States
ADA - American Dental Association
http://www.ada.org/

Alabama
ALDA - Alabama Dental Association
http://www.aldaonline.org/

Alaska
ADS - Alaska Dental Society
http://www.akdental.org/

Arizona
AZDA - Arizona Dental Association
http://www.azda.org/

Arkansas
ASDA - Arkansas State Dental Association
http://www.dental-asda.org/

California
CDA - California Dental Association
http://www.cda.org/

Colorado
CDA - Colorado Dental Association
http://www.cdaonline.org/

Website Connecticut
CSDA - Connecticut State Dental Association
http://www.csda.com/

Delaware
DSDS - Delaware State Dental Society
http://www.delawarestatedentalsociety.org/

District of Columbia
DCDS - District of Columbia Dental Society
http://www.dcdental.org/

Florida
FDA - Florida Dental Association
http://www.floridadental.com/

Georgia
GDA - Georgia Dental Association
http://www.gadental.org/

Hawaii
HDA - Hawaii Dental Association
http://www.isdaweb.com/

Illinois
ISDS - Illinois State Dental Society
http://www.isds.org/

Indiana
IDA - Indiana Dental Association
http://www.indental.org/

Iowa
IDA - Iowa Dental Association
http://www.iowadental.org/

Kansas
KDA - Kansas Dental Association
http://www.ksdental.org/

Kentucky
KYDA - Kentucky Dental Association
http://www.kyda.org/

Louisiana
LDA - Louisiana Dental Association
http://www.ladental.org/

Maine
MDA - Maine Dental Association
http://www.medental.org/

Maryland
MSDA - Maryland State Dental Association
http://www.msda.com/

Massachusetts
MDS - Massachusetts Dental Society
http://www.massdental.org/

Michigan
MDA - Michigan Dental Association
http://www.smilemichigan.com/

Minnesota
MDA - Minnesota Dental Association
http://www.mndental.org/

Mississippi
MDA - Mississippi Dental Association
http://www.msdental.org/

Missouri
MDA - Missouri Dental Association
http://www.modental.org/

Montana
MDA - Montana Dental Association
http://www.mtdental.com/

Nebraska
NDA - Nebraska Dental Association
http://www.nedental.org/

Nevada
NDA - Nevada Dental Association
http://www.nvda.org/

New Hampshire
NHDA - New Hampshire Dental Society
http://www.nhds.org/

New Jersey
NJDA - New Jersey Dental Association
http://www.njda.org/

New Mexico
NMDA - New Mexico Dental Association
http://www.newmexicodental.org/

New York
NYSDA - New York State Dental Association
http://www.nysdental.org/

North Carolina
NCDS - North Carolina Dental Society
http://www.ncdental.org/

North Dakota
NDDA - North Dakota Dental Association
http://www.nddental.com/

Ohio
ODA - Ohio Dental Association
http://www.oda.org/

Oklahoma
ODA - Oklahoma Dental Association
http://www.okda.org/

Oregon
ODA - Oregon Dental Association
http://www.padental.org/

Rhode Island
RIDA - Rhode Island Dental Association
http://www.ridental.com/

South Carolina
SCDA - South Carolina Dental Association
http://www.scda.org/

South Dakota
SDDA - South Dakota Dental Association
http://www.sddental.org/

Tennessee
TDA - Tennessee Dental Association
http://www.tenndental.org/

Texas
TDA - Texas Dental Association
http://www.tda.org/

Utah
UDA - Utah Dental Association
http://www.uda.org/

Vermont
VSDS - Vermont State Dental Society
http://www.vsds.org/

Virginia
VDA - Virginia Dental Association
http://www.vadental.org/

Washington
WSDA - Washington State Dental Association
http://www.wsda.org/

West Virginia
WVDA - West Virginia Dental Association
http://www.wvdental.org/

Wisconsin
WDA - Wisconsin Dental Association
http://www.wda.org/

Wyoming
WyDA - Wyoming Dental Association
http://www.wyda.org/

Canada
CDA - Canadian Dental Association
http://www.cda-adc.ca/

Alberta
ADA&C - Alberta Dental Association & College
http://www.abda.ab.ca/

British Columbia
BCDA - British Columbia Dental Association
http://www.bcdental.org/

Manitoba
MDA - Manitoba Dental Association
http://www.manitobadentist.ca/

New Brunswick
NBDS - New Brunswick Dental Society
http://www.nbdental.com/

Newfoundland and Labrador
Newfoundland and Labrador Dental Association

Northwest Territories
Northwest Territories & Nunavut Dental Association

Nova Scotia
NSDA - Nova Scotia Dental Association
http://www.nsdental.org/

Nunavut
Northwest Territories & Nunavut Dental Association

Ontario
ODA - Ontario Dental Association
http://www.oda.on.ca/

Prince Edward Island
DAPEI - Dental Association of Prince Edward Island
http://www.dapei.ca/

Quebec
ACDQ - Association des Chirurgiens Dentistes du Quebec
http://www.acdq.qc.ca/

Saskatchewan
CDSSK - College of Dental Surgeons of Saskatchewan
http://www.cdssk.ca/

Yukon
Yukon Dental Association

References
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The American Heritage Stedman's Medical Dictionary. Houghton Mifflin Company, 2002.
WordNet 1.7.1. Princeton University, 2001.
Gale Encyclopedia of Cancer. The Gale Group, Inc, 2002.
McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science and Technology. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., 2005.