dental clinic

Navigating the world of dental care can be intimidating, especially when faced with a myriad of unfamiliar terms and phrases. To help you better understand dental terminology and empower you to make informed decisions about your oral health, we’ve compiled a comprehensive glossary for Sound Surgical Arts patients. This resource will serve as a valuable guide and reference as you traverse your dental journey with our team.

In this blog, you will find clear definitions and explanations for common dental terms, ranging from treatments and procedures to conditions and diseases. By familiarizing yourself with the language of dentistry, you not only gain greater insight into your dental care but also enhance your ability to communicate with our dental professionals. Let Sound Surgical Arts be your partner in demystifying dental terminology and achieving optimal oral health.

A: Abscess to Avulsion

  • Abscess: A localized collection of pus resulting from an infection in a tooth or gum tissue, causing pain, swelling, and inflammation. Prompt treatment is necessary to prevent the spread of infection.
  • Amalgam: A dental filling material consisting of a mixture of metals, primarily silver, tin, copper, and mercury, used to restore the damaged structure of teeth due to cavities or wear. Widely recognized for its durability and longevity, amalgam has been used for over a century as a dental restorative material.
  • Apicoectomy: Also known as root-end resection, an apicoectomy is a surgical procedure that involves removing the root tip of a tooth and surrounding infected tissue to treat an unsuccessful root canal treatment or persistent infection.
  • Avulsion: The complete displacement of a tooth from its socket resulting from traumatic injury. Immediate dental treatment is necessary to attempt re-implantation of the tooth successfully.

B: Braces to Bruxism

  • Braces: Orthodontic devices used to correct the alignment of teeth and bite by gradually applying continuous pressure to move teeth into the desired position. Braces typically consist of brackets, wires, and bands, which work together to guide tooth movement.
  • Bridge: A fixed dental prosthetic used to replace one or more missing teeth by anchoring artificial teeth to adjacent natural teeth or dental implants. Bridges help maintain the structure of the jaw and improve oral function and appearance.
  • Bruxism: The habitual, involuntary grinding or clenching of teeth, typically occurring during sleep, resulting in tooth wear, damage, and potential pain. Bruxism can be managed with a custom-made dental night guard or other therapeutic interventions.

C: Calculus to Crown

  • Calculus: Also known as tartar, calculus is a hardened deposit of plaque and mineral salts that forms on the surface of teeth over time, leading to gum inflammation, decay, and tooth loss if left untreated. Calculus can be removed through professional dental cleaning.
  • Caries: Commonly referred to as tooth decay or cavities, dental caries is a bacterial infection causing the destruction of tooth enamel, dentin, and cementum, leading to the formation of holes in the tooth structure. Caries can be managed through proper oral hygiene practices, dental restorations, and preventive measures such as fluoride treatments.
  • Crown: A dental restoration used to cover and strengthen a damaged, decayed, or misshapen tooth, preserving its function and improving its appearance. Dental crowns can be made from various materials such as porcelain, metal, and resin.

D: Dentin to Dry Socket

  • Dentin: The second and more substantial layer of tooth structure beneath the enamel, composed of a calcified material containing microscopic tubules. Dentin, if exposed due to enamel loss, can lead to increased tooth sensitivity.
  • Dental Implant: A permanent tooth replacement solution comprising a titanium post surgically implanted into the jawbone, an abutment, and a dental crown or other prosthetic. Dental implants provide a highly stable and aesthetically pleasing alternative to traditional dentures or bridges.
  • Dry Socket: A painful post-extraction complication that occurs when the blood clot at the extraction site is dislodged or does not form properly, leading to exposed bone and nerves. Dry socket can be treated by a dentist using a medicated dressing to alleviate pain and encourage healing.

E: Endodontics to Extraction

  • Endodontics: A specialized branch of dentistry focused on diagnosing and treating issues related to the pulp and inner structures of teeth, such as root canals, endodontic surgery, and root-end resections.
  • Enamel: The outermost, hardest layer of tooth structure, composed of a dense, crystalline substance, responsible for protecting the underlying layers from decay and damage. Enamel can be weakened by acid-producing bacteria, tooth grinding, and acidic foods or drinks, leading to cavities or tooth sensitivity.
  • Extraction: The surgical removal of a tooth from its socket, performed for various reasons such as severe decay, damage, gum disease, or impaction. Tooth extractions can range from simple extractions to complex cases requiring surgical intervention.

Empower Your Dental Journey with Sound Surgical Arts

With a deeper understanding of dental terminology, you can now confidently navigate through your oral healthcare journey and foster clearer communication with your dental care team. Expanding your dental knowledge is essential for making informed decisions regarding your treatment and maintaining a healthy smile. Fostering clearer communication between you and your dental care team at Sound Surgical Arts, this glossary supports a better understanding of dental care processes and treatment options available.

Ensure your dental care is in expert hands with Sound Surgical Arts in Tacoma, WA, as our skilled and compassionate team is dedicated to providing personalized dental solutions that cater to your unique needs. Trust us to be your partner in achieving optimum oral health and a radiant smile, backed by our thorough expertise and exceptional patient care. Schedule your appointment with us today to start your journey towards a healthier and more confident you!