GLOSSARY OF DENTAL TERMS
This is a glossary of terms for your information.
Aria Dental recommends that you understand dental terms and words that may be used in the course of dialogue with our Dentists and Dental Staff.
Please do not hesitate to seek further clarification, if necessary.
All our staff will be happy to assist in your understanding.
- Calcium: Chemical element needed for healthy teeth, bones and nerves.
- Calculus: Hard residue, commonly known as tartar, that forms on teeth.
- Canine Teeth: The two upper and two lower cuspid teeth, often known as “eye teeth”.
- Cantilever Bridge: Fixed bridge that attaches to adjacent teeth only on one end.
- Cap: Common term for dental crown.
- Caries: Tooth decay or “cavities”.
- Cast or Model: Reproduction of structures made by pouring plaster or stone into a mould.
- Cellulitis: Soft tissue infection causing extensive hard swelling, a potentially dangerous condition requiring immediate attention.
- Cementum: Hard tissue that covers the roots of teeth.
- Chart: Log of dental or medical records.
- Clasp: Device that retains a removable partial denture to natural teeth.
- Cleaning: Cleaning is a word that has been generically used to identify a procedure that is routinely completed on a patient who is free of disease or has a healthy mouth. The appropriate word for this type of “cleaning” is prophylaxis. There are several different types of “cleaning” that are recommended by the dentist and hygienist depending on the patient’s oral health. To determine which type of “cleaning” is prescribed for you, ask your dental professional.
- Composite Resin: Plastic filling material composed of small glass or ceramic particles that is usually cured with filtered light or a chemical catalyst.
- Cosmetic Dentistry: Cosmetic dentistry is generally used to refer to any dental work that improves the appearance (though not necessarily the function) of a person’s teeth, gums and/or bite. It primarily focuses on improvement in dental aesthetics in colour, position, shape, size, alignment and overall smile appearance.
- Cross Bite: Reverse biting relationship of upper and lower teeth also known as an underbite, as in Class III malocclusion (prognathic jaw).
- Crown: The upper part of the tooth that is covered with enamel. Also an artificial cap for a tooth to repair and restore it to its normal shape and size following extensive dental work, root canal treatment or for cosmetic treatment. Dental crowns are also used as a cosmetic form of treatment, covering unsightly teeth or replacing missing teeth. Because they look (and feel) more like natural teeth, they are most commonly sought for those who have crooked, broken, cracked, or chipped teeth as a way of improving overall mouth health and achieving a beautiful smile.
- Curettage: Removal of diseased tissue.
- Cusp: Mound on posterior teeth.
- Cuspid or Canine: The four “eye teeth.”
- Cyst: A soft or hard tissue sac filled with fluid.