Dental Terms Glossary

Common Dental Terms

We've put together this handy reference guide of terms you might hear when speaking with your dentist or support staff.

Please don't hesitate to ask your dental care provider for clarification of any terms. We're here to help make your experience as pleasant as possible!

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Base: Cement placed under a dental restoration to insulate the pulp (nerve chamber).

Bicuspid or Pre-molar: Transitional teeth behind the cuspids.

Bifurcation (Trifurcation): Juncture of two (three) roots in posterior teeth.

Biopsy: Removal of a small piece of tissue for microscopic examination.

Bite: Relationship of the upper and lower teeth on closure (occlusion).

Bite Wings: Caries (decay) detection devices used during X-rays.

Black Hairy Tongue: Elongated papillae on the tongue, promoting the growth of microorganisms.

Bleaching: Chemical or laser treatment of natural teeth for whitening effect.

Block Injection: Anesthesia of a nerve trunk that covers a large area of the jaw. A mandibular block injection produces numbness of the lower jaw, teeth and half the tongue.

Bonding: Adhesive dental restoration technique. A tooth-colored composite resin to repair and/or change the color or shape of a tooth.

Bone Resorption: Decrease in bone supporting the roots of teeth, which is a common result of periodontal (gum disease).

Braces: Devices used by orthodontists to gradually reposition teeth to a more favorable alignment.


Bridges resemble natural teeth, and are designed to take the place of areas where there are gaps between teeth. bridge is a stationary dental prosthesis (appliance) fixed to teeth adjacent to a space. It replaces one or more missing teeth, cemented or bonded, to supporting teeth or implants adjacent to the space. If you need a crown or bridge you’ll be expertly fitted by one of our specialists.  No more worrying that the crown or bridge is going to be ill fitting or look unnatural.

The world of dentistry is growing by leaps and bounds, and soon crowns and bridges will be much more affordable for anyone who would like to have them. While some are covered by some types of insurance (wholly or partly), it depends on the company and the reason for the crown and/or bridge. Those put in place solely for cosmetic purposes may not always be covered, or may only be covered after a specific deductible has been met.  Let us help keep your smile flawless.

Bruxism: Grinding or gnashing of the teeth, most commonly while the patient is asleep.


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The material contained on this website is offered as information only and not as professional advice. Users should consult their own dental professionals for such advice.

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