Understanding Dental “Lingo”

Sometimes when you visit the dentist, you’ll hear some terms with which you’re unfamiliar. If you ask, a good dentist will happily explain the meaning of what they’re saying. There’s no shame in taking a part in your own health care.

Here are a few words and phrases you’ll frequently hear in discussions in a dental clinic:

Understanding Dental “Lingo”

Arch: The U-shaped configuration of your upper and lower teeth.

Abscess: A local infection which often develops around diseased or damaged gums and may spread into the bloodstream.

Cavity: The crevice in a decayed tooth.

Cosmetic Bonding: A procedure involving the use of a plastic resin material to fill in rough surfaces on a tooth.

Understanding Dental “Lingo”

Crown: The cap placed over a tooth for the purpose of improving the tooth’s appearance.

Gingivitis: A mild form of gum (or periodontal) disease, characterized by redness and inflammation.

Interproximal: A term used to describe the location of cavities between teeth.

Periodontal Disease: A serious infection resulting from gingivitis that may damage the jawbone, if not treated.

Root Canal: A procedure to remove inflamed or infected pulp (connective tissues in the center of a tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels), and replace it with natural rubbery material (“gutta percha”) to promote healing.

Prophylaxis: A dental procedure where the surfaces of teeth are polished to remove stains.

Sealant: A thin layer of a special material (resin) used to fill grooves on the biting surfaces of a tooth to prevent decay.

Veneers: A cosmetic dental term referring to wafer-thin, custom-made shells placed on the fronts of teeth to improve appearance.

Understanding Dental “Lingo”

Avoid hearing words like “cavities” and “disease” by scheduling annual dental checkups and practicing good oral health between visits to Ohana Dental Clinic. Call us at (905) 697-3440 to set up an appointment; your health is important and should be a priority.

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