Perth Glossary Of Dental Terms P


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.


  • Palate: Hard and soft tissue forming the roof of the mouth.
  • Palliative Treatment: The non-invasive relief of irritating conditions.
  • Paraesthesia: A partial loss of sensation that is temporary or permanent.
  • Partial Denture: A removable dental prosthesis (appliance) that replaces one or more natural teeth.
  • Pathology: The study of disease.
  • Paedodontics or Paediatric Dentistry: As the name implies, paediatric dentistry is the field of dentistry that deals with children. A children’s dentist specialises in the care of a child’s small mouth and teeth, including fillings, crowns, extractions, cleaning, x-rays, plates, braces and similar tools in everyday work.
  • Periapical (PA): The region at the end of the roots of teeth.
  • Periodontal Chart: A record measuring the depth of gum pockets around the teeth.
  • Periodontal Surgery: The re-contouring or aesthetic management of diseased gum and supporting tissue.
  • Periodontist: A dental specialist who treats and maintains the gums and supporting soft and hard tissues in order to retain natural teeth and prepare for surgical placement of dental implants. Heredity, diet, smoking and other factors can result in gum disease.
  • Permanent Teeth: Thirty-two adult teeth (approximately) in a complete dentition.
  • Pit: A small defect in the tooth enamel, or the junction of four formative lobes of a developing tooth.
  • Plaque: A soft, sticky substance that accumulates on teeth and is composed of bacteria and food debris due to inadequate dental hygiene.
  • Pontic: A replacement tooth mounted on a fixed or removal appliance.
  • Porcelain: (also known as dental ceramic) is used by a dental technician to create biocompatible life-like dental restorations, such as crowns, bridges, and veneers.
  • Porcelain Crown: A porcelain restoration that covers the coronal portion of tooth (above the gum line).
  • Porcelain Fused to Metal (PFM) Crown: A restoration containing metal coping for strength covered by porcelain for aesthetics.
  • Porcelain Inlay or Onlay: A tooth-coloured restoration made of porcelain and cemented or bonded in place.
  • Porcelain Veneers: A thin layer of porcelain, fabricated by a laboratory and bonded to a natural tooth to replace lost tooth structure, close spaces, straighten teeth, or change their colour and/or shape.
  • Post: A thin metal rod inserted into the root of a tooth after root canal therapy. A post provides retention for a “core” which replaces lost tooth structure and retains crowns.
  • Post-Core: A post and build up to replace lost tooth structure and retain crowns.
  • Post-Crown: A single structure that combines post-core and crown.
  • Prognosis: The anticipated outcome of treatment.
  • Prophylaxis: Cleaning of the teeth for the prevention of periodontal disease and tooth decay.
  • Prosthesis: An artificial appliance for the replacement of a tooth or teeth, such as a crown, bridge or denture.
  • Prosthodontist: A Prosthodontist is a dental specialist in the field of Prosthodontics. The area of speciality includes dental implants, crowns, bridges, dentures, TMJ, full mouth rehabilitation and other areas of expertise commonly associated with cosmetic dentistry.
  • Pulp: The nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue inside a tooth.
  • Pulp Cap: A medicated covering over a small area of exposed pulp tissue.
  • Pulp Chamber: The centre or innermost portion of the tooth containing the pulp.
  • Pulpectomy: Complete removal of the pulp (commonly done in children’s teeth).
  • Pulpitis: Inflammation of the pulp, which is a common cause of toothache.
  • Pulpotomy: Partial removal of the pulp tissue.
  • Pyorrhoea: Older term for periodontal (gum) disease.