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Monday – Thursday
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Friday appointments
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Pediatric Dentistry Glossary

-A-

Abscess - infection caused by severe tooth decay, trauma or gum disease.
Air Abrasion – a decay-removing process that eliminates the need for shots and is free of noise and vibration associated with the drill.
Amalgam - a silver and mercury material used for fillings.
Anesthetic - a drug used by your doctor to eliminate a patient's localized pain during certain dental procedures.
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.
Aspirator - a suction device your dentist uses to remove saliva from your mouth.

-B-

Bleaching Agent - a gel used to whiten and brighten teeth.
Bonding - a plastic composite painted on the teeth to correct stains or damage.
Bridge - one or more artificial teeth attached to your adjacent teeth.
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.
Crown - an artificial tooth or cover made of porcelain or metal.
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 attached to the jawbone that replaces a missing tooth or teeth.
Denture - a removable set of artificial teeth.
DIAGNOdent – laser detector that can identify cavities at the earliest stage, even when they do not appear on X-rays.

-E-

Enamel - the hard surface of the tooth above the gum line.
Endodontist - a dentist who specializes in root canals and the treatment of diseases and infections of the dental pulp (inner tooth).
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-

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 - related to incisors (see below).
Incisor - one of the flat, sharp-edged teeth in the front of the mouth.
Inlays - a custom-made filling cemented into an unhealthy tooth.
Instant Orthodontics - alternative to braces using bonded porcelain veneers or crowns.

-L-

Lateral - these are the teeth adjacent to the centrals.

-N-

Night Guard - a plastic mouthpiece worn at night to prevent grinding of the teeth. Often used to treat TMJ.

-P-

Pedontist - also known as a pediatric dentist, a dentist that specializes in the treatment of children's teeth.
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.
Prosthodontist - a dentist specializing in the restoration and replacement of missing teeth or severely damaged teeth.

-R-

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

-S-

Sealant - plastic coating applied to teeth to prevent decay. Used most commonly for children.
Secondary Teeth - the permanent teeth.
Six-Year Molar - commonly known as "the first molar."
Sleep Apnea - a potentially serious disorder in which a sleeping person may stop breathing for 10 seconds or more, often continuously throughout the night.

-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.

-W-

Wand – system that emits a balanced flow of anesthetic through the tissue, resulting in better patient comfort.