Glossary of Dental Terms

Glossary of Dental Terms


A local infection in the form of collection of pus caused by severe tooth decay or periodontal disease builds up in a cavity formed by the tissue. Swelling of the gums or pain can be noticed.


Amalgam is a silver filling or an alloy containing mercury used as a restorative material for dental fillings.


Bicuspids or the premolar teeth are the middle teeth that are used for chewing and are located between the canine and molar teeth.


A bridge is a fixed appliance or dental restoration that replaces missing teeth. It is permanently attached to adjacent teeth or to a dental implant(s).


Calculus in dentistry is hard calcium like deposit or a hardened dental plaque accumulated on teeth or dentures caused by repeated deposition of minerals from saliva.


A Crown is a full cover or cap for the tooth used as a dental restoration when a filling cannot restore the tooth.


In dentistry, Debridement refers to elimination of plaque and calculus from the periodontal pocket to preserve oral health. This is a treatment done for bacterial infection to allow healing of adjacent tissues.


Diastema is the space or the gap between the two teeth (usually front teeth).


Partial or complete edentulous means having no teeth partially or totally.


In dentistry, extraction is the removal of teeth from the mouth. It is usually done in the case of tooth decay or a non-restorable tooth condition.


The discoloration of enamel caused by excessive exposure to fluoride during tooth development.


General Anesthesia is a medication given by various means by a dental practitioner to relieve the pain sensation while performing the operative procedure.


Hypersensitivity is an abrupt reaction like irritation or shooting pain felt when the nerves inside the teeth are exposed to hot, cold, excess sweet or salty environments. It is caused by decaying teeth or exposed tooth roots.


The immediate denture includes the partial or complete denture prepared before the natural teeth are extracted.


Orthodontics is a branch of dentistry that is related to the study and treatment of irregularities of the teeth and uneven jaw relationships.


Pedodontics or Pediatric dentistry is the branch of dentistry that deals with children’s teeth from birth till adolescence.


Restorations are replacements for a lost tooth or tooth structure. Bridges, fillings, crowns and implants are various kinds of restorations performed using a restorative material.


Sealants are used as a dental treatment in which clear resin is applied to the biting surface of one or more teeth to prevent decay and dental caries.


Teething is the process of baby teeth pushing through the gums between the ages of three to twelve months.


Xerostomia is the medical term used for dryness of the mouth. Smoking, drinking alcohol, several diseases, medications and treatments can cause xerostomia.