Perth Glossary Of Dental Terms D to E


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.


  • Decay: Tooth decay, often known as dental cavities or dental caries, is the destruction of the tooth. Decay results from the action of bacteria that live in plaque, which is a sticky, whitish film formed by a protein in saliva (mucin) and sugary substances in the mouth.
  • Deciduous Teeth: Commonly called “baby teeth,” the first set of teeth.
  • Dental Arch: The dental arches are the two arches (crescent arrangements) of teeth, one on each jaw, that together constitute the dentition. In humans and many other species, the superior (maxillary or upper) dental arch is slightly larger than the inferior (mandibular or lower) arch, so that in the normal condition the teeth in the maxilla (upper jaw) slightly overlap those of the mandible (lower jaw) both in front and at the sides. The way that the jaws, and thus the dental arches, approach each other when the mouth closes, which is called the occlusion, determines the occlusal relationship of opposing teeth, and it is subject to malocclusion (such as cross-bite) if facial or dental development was imperfect.
  • Dental Implant: A dental implant (also known as an endosseous implant or fixture) is a surgical component that interfaces with the bone of the jaw or skull to support a dental prosthesis such as a crown, bridge, denture, facial prosthesis or to act as an orthodontic anchor. The basis for modern dental implants is a biologic process called osseointegration where materials, such as titanium, form an intimate bond to bone. The implant fixture is first placed, so that it is likely to osseointegrate, then a dental prosthesis is added. A variable amount of healing time is required for osseointegration before either the dental prosthesis (a tooth, bridge or denture) is attached to the implant or an abutment is placed which will hold a dental prosthesis.
  • Dentine: Inner layer of tooth structure, immediately under the surface enamel.
  • Dentition: The natural or artificial teeth in the mouth.
  • Dentures: Dentures, also known as false teeth, are prosthetic devices constructed to replace missing teeth; they are supported by the surrounding soft and hard tissues of the oral cavity. Conventional dentures are removable (removable partial denture or complete denture). However, there are many different denture designs, some of which rely on bonding or clasping onto teeth or dental implants.
  • Diastema: A space between teeth.


  • Enamel: Hard tissue covering the crown of the tooth.
  • Endodontist: (from the Greek roots endo- “inside” and odont- “tooth”) is the dental speciality concerned with the study and treatment of the dental pulp. Endodontists perform a variety of procedures including endodontic therapy (commonly known as “root canal therapy”), endodontic retreatment, surgery, treating cracked teeth, and treating dental trauma. Root canal therapy is one of the most common procedures. If the dental pulp (containing nerves, arterioles, venules, lymphatic tissue, and fibrous tissue) becomes diseased or injured, endodontic treatment is required to save the tooth.
  • Eruption: The process of teeth protruding through the gums.
  • Exfoliate: The process of shedding deciduous (baby) teeth.
  • Exodontia: The practice of dental extractions.
  • Explorer: A sharp instrument used to detect decay on the surface of teeth.
  • Extraction: Removal of a tooth.