Sainsburys, Freeth St, Oldbury B69 3DB

Dental Terminology

Aesthetics and Restorative Dentistry


Dental crown: A tooth-shaped cap placed over a damaged tooth to restore its appearance and functionality.

Dental filling: A restorative material used to repair a decayed or damaged tooth.

Dental implant: A titanium post surgically placed in the jawbone to support a dental crown or bridge.

Dental veneers: Thin shells made of porcelain or composite resin bonded to the front surface of teeth to improve their appearance.

Teeth whitening: The process of lightening the colour of teeth to remove stains and discolouration.

Dental bonding/composite bonding: A procedure that uses tooth-coloured composite resin to improve the appearance of teeth by filling in gaps, repairing chips, or covering stains.

Dental contouring: Also known as tooth reshaping, it involves removing small amounts of tooth enamel to modify the shape, length, or surface of a tooth.

Dental inlay: A custom-made restoration that fits into the prepared cavity of a tooth to restore its shape, function, and aesthetics.

Dental onlay: Similar to an inlay, an onlay is a larger restoration that covers one or more cusps of a tooth, providing more extensive coverage and support.

Dental bridge: A fixed prosthesis used to replace one or more missing teeth by anchoring artificial teeth to adjacent natural teeth or dental implants.

Dental crown lengthening: A surgical procedure that removes gum tissue or bone to expose more of the tooth’s structure, often performed before placing a dental crown.

Full mouth reconstruction: A comprehensive treatment plan involving multiple restorative and cosmetic dental procedures to restore the entire mouth’s function and aesthetics.

Invisalign: A system of clear, removable aligners used to straighten teeth without the need for traditional braces.

Dental prosthesis: An artificial device used to replace missing teeth, such as dentures, dental bridges, or dental implants.

Occlusion: The alignment and contact between the upper and lower teeth when the jaws come together.

Overdenture: A removable dental prosthesis that rests on dental implants or natural tooth roots for support and stability.

Smile makeover: A customised combination of cosmetic dental procedures to enhance the appearance of a person’s smile, considering factors like tooth colour, alignment, and overall aesthetics.

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder: A condition characterised by pain, discomfort, or dysfunction of the temporomandibular joints and surrounding structures, affecting jaw movement and facial muscles.

Tooth recontouring: The process of reshaping and smoothing tooth enamel to improve the tooth’s appearance, often used to correct minor imperfections or irregularities.

Gum Health and Periodontics:


Gingivitis: Inflammation of the gums, often caused by plaque buildup.

Periodontal disease: A chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and supporting structures of teeth.

Periodontist: A dental specialist who focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of periodontal disease.

Scaling and root planing: A deep cleaning procedure to remove plaque and tartar from below the gum line and smooth the tooth roots.

Gum recession: The exposure of tooth roots due to the loss of gum tissue, often caused by periodontal disease.


Orthodontics and Teeth Alignment:


Braces: Orthodontic appliances used to correct misaligned teeth and jaws.

Malocclusion: A misalignment of the upper and lower teeth, often leading to bite problems.

Orthodontist: A dental specialist who diagnoses and treats teeth and jaw alignment issues.

Retainer: A removable or fixed appliance worn after orthodontic treatment to maintain teeth alignment.

Overbite: When the upper front teeth excessively overlap the lower front teeth.


Oral Surgery and Extractions:


Dental extraction: The removal of a tooth from its socket.

Wisdom teeth: The third molars that often require extraction due to impaction or overcrowding.

Oral surgeon: A dental specialist who performs surgical procedures in the oral and maxillofacial area.

Dry socket: A painful condition that may occur after a tooth extraction when the blood clot is dislodged or dissolves prematurely.

Alveoplasty: A surgical procedure to reshape and smooth the jawbone after tooth extraction.


Preventive Dentistry and Oral Hygiene:


Dental hygiene: The practice of maintaining oral health through regular brushing, flossing, and professional cleanings.

Dental prophylaxis: A professional teeth cleaning procedure performed by a dental hygienist to remove plaque and tartar.

Fluoride treatment: The application of fluoride to teeth to strengthen enamel and prevent tooth decay.

Sealants: Thin plastic coatings are applied to the chewing surfaces of teeth to prevent cavities.

Oral hygiene instructions: Guidance provided by dental professionals on proper oral care techniques and habits.


Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging:


Dental X-rays: Radiographic images used to diagnose dental conditions not visible during a clinical examination.

Panoramic X-ray: A wide-view X-ray capturing the entire mouth, jaws, and teeth in a single image.

Bitewing X-rays: X-rays that show the upper and lower teeth biting together to detect cavities and assess bone level.

Cone beam computed tomography (CBCT): A three-dimensional X-ray imaging technique used for comprehensive dental evaluations.

Digital radiography: X-ray imaging using electronic sensors that provide instant images with lower radiation exposure.