Glossary

-A-

Abscess - infection caused by severe tooth decay, trauma or gum disease.
Amalgam - a silver and mercury material used for fillings.
Anesthesiologist- a medical physician specialized in procedures for rendering a patient insensitive to pain and supporting life systems for the patient while under the strains of the necessary drugs and the surgery.
Anterior - the teeth in the front of your mouth.
Antiseptic - an agent that can be applied to living tissues to destroy germs.
Apex - the very tip of the root of a tooth.

-B-

Bitewings- X-rays taken of the side back teeth used to detect and monitor decay developing between the teeth.
Bleaching Agent
- a gel used to whiten and brighten teeth.
Bonding - a plastic composite painted on the teeth to correct stains or damage.
Bruxism - the clenching or grinding of teeth, most commonly while sleeping.

-C-

Calculus - the hardened plaque that can form on neglected or prone teeth, commonly known as tartar.
Canine - the pointy teeth just behind the laterals.
Caries- another name for cavities or decayed teeth.
Cavity - a tiny hole in the tooth caused by decay.
Central - the two upper and two lower teeth in the center of the mouth.
Cuspid - the pointy teeth just behind the laterals, also known as canines.

-D-

Decalcification - the loss of calcium from the teeth.
Deciduous Teeth - also called "baby teeth."
Dental Implants - an implant permanently attached to the jawbone that replaces a missing tooth or teeth.
Discing- smoothing away a small portion of the sides of a tooth

-E-

Enamel- the hard surface of the tooth above the gum line.
Endodontist -a dentist who specializes in root canals and the treatment of disease and infection of the pulp tissue in permanent teeth 
Extraction - the removal of a tooth or teeth.

-F-

Filling- a plug made of metal or composite material used to fill a tooth cavity.
Fluoride - a chemical solution used to harden teeth and prevent decay.

-G-

General Anesthesia- For some children with extensive dental needs, uncooperative behavior, immature cognitive functioning, disabilities, or medical conditions that make treatment impossible in the dental office setting. General Anesthesia is a means of putting a child in a drug induced "sleep" by a trained Anesthesiologist where the dental treatment can then be completed by your Pediatric Dentist in a safe environment.
Gingivitis
- inflammation of gums around the roots of the teeth.
Gums - the firm flesh that surrounds the roots of the teeth.

-I-

Impacted Tooth- often occurring with wisdom teeth, it is a tooth that sits sideways below the gum line, often requiring extraction.
Incisal - the bottom edge of an incisor tooth
Incisor - one of the flat, sharp-edged teeth in the front of the mouth.

-L-

Lateral - these are the teeth adjacent to the centrals.
Local Anesthesia- a 'numbing' solution used by your pediatric dentist to eliminate any localized pain during certain dental procedures; also known as 'sleepy juice'.

-M-

Mayclin Crowns/Kinder Krowns- a cover or "cap" made of metal with a white facing used to cover the top anterior teeth.
Mouth Guard- a plastic mouthpiece worn while participating in sports activities to prevent and minimize injury to the teeth and jaw.

-N-

Necessary X-Rays- For children with a high risk of tooth decay, the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists recommends X-ray examinations every 6 months to detect cavities developing between the teeth. Children with a low risk of tooth decay require X-rays less frequently. X-rays are taken only when they can provide information that a visual examination cannot.
Night Guard- a plastic mouthpiece worn at night to prevent grinding of the permanent teeth, often used to treat TMJ syndrome; not used to treat grinding of primary teeth
Nitrous Oxide- a colorless gas that has an analgesic (pain-relieving) effect and is used as a mild anesthetic in Pediatric Dentistry; also known as 'happy air'.

-P-

Panoramic X-ray- a full jaw film that shows all the teeth present in the mouth as well as all the teeth still developing within the jaw; used to assess growth and development, missing teeth, and any jaw abnormalities.
Periapicals
- X-rays taken to include the entire root structure of a tooth
Pediatric Dentist-
a dentist who specializes in the treatment of children's oral health
Periodontist
- a dentist specializing in the treatment of gum disease.
Plaque - a sticky buildup of acids and bacteria that causes tooth decay.
Posterior Teeth - the teeth in the back of the mouth.
Primary Teeth- also known as "baby teeth" or deciduous teeth.
Prophy- a thorough cleaning of the teeth by a trained dental professional.
Pulpotomy- treatment of exposed pulp chamber due to deep caries in vital primary teeth; cleaning out and filling the inside nerve tissue of a primary tooth that is heavily decayed.
Pulpectomy- removal of the roof of the pulp chamber in order to gain access to the infected root structure in primary teeth; cleaning out and filling the root structure  of a primary non-vital tooth with deep decay or dental abscess.
Pulp Chamber- the vital inside nerve tissue of the tooth; provides the tooth's blood supply.

-R-

Root - the portion of the tooth below your gum line.
Root Canal - cleaning out and filling the inside nerve of a permanent tooth that is heavily decayed.

-S-

Saliva Ejector- a suction device used to remove saliva from your mouth; also known as a 'magic straw'.
Sealant
- a plastic material that is applied to the chewing/biting surface of the posterior teeth providing a barrier and "sealing out" bacteria and food to help prevent decay.
Secondary Teeth - the permanent teeth.
Six-Year Molar- commonly known as "the first molar."
Space Maintainer- when a posterior, primary tooth is lost prematurely, there are a variety of appliances that can be used to "save" the space for the permanent tooth which will need to erupt in the future. Your Pediatric Dentist will determine which appliance best fits your child's need.
Stainless Steel Crown- a cover or "cap" made of metal used to cover the posterior primary teeth.

-T-

Tartar- see calculus.
TMJ Syndrome- a disorder associated with the joint of the jaw. Often caused by a misalignment of or a disparity in upper and lower jaw sizes.
Tooth Whitening- a process designed to whiten and brighten teeth.
Twelve-Year Molar - commonly known as "the second molar."

-V-

Veneer- a plastic, porcelain or composite material used to improve the attractiveness of a stained or damaged tooth.