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Glossary of Dental Terms

A handy reference

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. We’re here to help make your experience as pleasant as possible!

Partial Denture

A removable dental prosthesis (appliance) that replaces one or more natural teeth.

Post

A thin metal rod inserted into the root of a tooth after root canal therapy. A post provides retention for a ‘coping’ which replaces lost tooth structure and retains crowns.

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 color and/or shape.

Porcelain Inlay or Onlay

A tooth-colored restoration made of porcelain and cemented or bonded in place.

Porcelain Fused to Metal (PFM) Crown

A restoration containing metal coping for strength covered by porcelain for appearance.

Porcelain Crown

An all-porcelain restoration that covers the coronal portion of tooth (above the gum line).

Pontic

A replacement tooth mounted on a fixed or removal appliance.

Plaque

A soft, sticky substance that accumulates on teeth and is composed of bacteria and food debris due to inadequate dental hygiene.

Pit

A small defect in the tooth enamel, or the junction of four formative lobes of a developing tooth.

Permanent Teeth

Thirty-two adult teeth (approximately) in a complete dentition.

Resources

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14 Days to a Heart-Happy Smile

It’s time to celebrate the month of love! This includes loving yourself so why not show some extra care to your smile? Did you know keeping your smile healthy also helps your heart health? We’ve come up with some simple habits you can introduce to yourself for two weeks to keep both your smile and…

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Saliva: Your Defense Against Cavities

Have you wondered about the purpose of saliva? It may get a bad rep, but your spit is an important part of your overall oral health. It consists of enzymes, proteins, and minerals that are crucial for a healthy mouth! Your body also uses saliva to communicate a variety of responses. Your Mouth’s Protector Saliva…

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