DENTAL TERMS

A

Abscess

Acute or chronic localized inflammation, probably with a collection of pus, associated with tissue destruction and, frequently, swelling; usually secondary to infection.

acute periradicular or acute apical abscess–An inflammatory reaction to pulpal infection and necrosis characterized by rapid onset, spontaneous pain, tenderness of the tooth to pressure, pus formation and eventual swelling of associated tissues. May also be known as acute periapical abscess, acute alveolar abscess, dentoalveolar abscess, phoenix abscess, recrudescent abscess, secondary apical abscess.

chronic periradicular or chronic periapical abscess–An inflammatory reaction to pulpal infection and necrosis characterized by gradual onset, little or no discomfort and the intermittent discharge of pus through an associated sinus tract. May also be known as chronic alveolar abscess, chronic apical abscess, chronic dentoalveolar abscess, suppurative apical periodontitis, suppurative periradiucular periodontitis.

Abutment

 A term with different meanings depending on the clinical scenario.

implant case – the fixture that is placed between the implant body (aka implant post) and the restorative prosthesis (e.g., single crown; denture).

natural tooth case – the tooth used as the support for one end of a denture.

Abutment crown

Artificial crown also serving for the retention or support of a dental prosthesis.

Acid etching

Use of an acidic chemical substance to prepare the tooth enamel and or dentin surface to provide retention for bonding.

Adhesive

 Any substance that joins or creates close adherence of two or more surfaces. Intermediate material that causes two materials to adhere to each other.

Adjunctive

 A secondary treatment in addition to the primary therapy.

Adult dentition

 Refers to the permanent (“adult”) teeth in the dental arch that either replace the primary dentition or erupt distally to the primary molars.

Alloplastic

 Refers to synthetic material often used for tissue augmentation or replacement.

Alloy

Compound combining two or more elements having properties not existing in any of the single constituent elements

Alveolar

Referring to the bone to which a tooth is attached.

Alveoloplasty

Surgical procedure for recontouring supporting bone, sometimes in preparation for a prosthesis.

Amalgam

 An alloy used in direct dental restorations. Typically composed of mercury, silver, tin and copper along with other metallic elements added to improve physical and mechanical properties.

Analgesia

A procedure that controls the patient’s level of anxiety or pain.  Delivery of an anesthesia inducing agent by a dentist or other health care practitioner is regulated by state dental boards. 

Anatomical crown

 That portion of tooth normally covered by, and including, enamel.

Ancillary

 Subordinate or auxiliary to something or someone else; supplementary.

Anesthesia

 A procedure that controls the patient’s level of anxiety or pain.  Delivery of an anesthesia inducing agent by a dentist or other health care practitioner is regulated by state dental boards. 

Anomaly

 Deviation from the normal anatomic structure, growth, development or function; an abnormality.

Anterior

Mandibular and maxillary centrals, laterals and cuspids. The codes for anterior teeth in the Universal/National Tooth Numbering System are 6 through 11 (maxillary), and 22 through 27 (mandibular) for permanent dentition; C through H (maxillary), and M through R (mandibular) for primary dentition. This is also a term that, in general, refers to the teeth and tissues located towards the front of the mouth.

Anxiolysis

A procedure that controls the patient’s level of anxiety or pain.

Apex

 The tip or end of the root end of the tooth.

Apexification

 The process of induced root development to encourage the formation of a calcified barrier in a tooth with immature root formation or an open apex. May involve the placement of an artificial apical barrier prior to nonsurgical endodontic obturation.

Apexogenesis

Vital pulp therapy performed to encourage continued physiological formation and development of the tooth root.

Apicoectomy

 Amputation of the apex of a tooth.

Arch

The curved composite structure of the natural dentition and the residual ridge, or the remains thereof, after the loss of some or all of the natural teeth.

Areas of oral cavity

 A two digit numeric system used to report regions of the oral cavity on patient records and on claims submitted to third-party payers.

00 entire oral cavity
01 maxillary arch
02 mandibular arch
10 upper right quadrant
20 upper left quadrant
30 lower left quadrant
40 lower right quadrant

Arthrogram

 A diagnostic X-ray technique used to view bone structures following injection of a contrast medium into a joint.

Autogenous Graft 

Taken from one part of a patient’s body and transferred to another.

B

Bicuspid

 A premolar tooth; a tooth with two cusps.

Biopsy

 Process of removing tissue for histologic evaluation.

Bitewing radiograph

 Interproximal radiographic view of the coronal portion of the tooth/teeth. A form of dental radiograph that may be taken with the long axis of the image oriented either horizontally or vertically, that reveals approximately the coronal halves of the maxillary and mandibular teeth and portions of the interdental alveolar septa on the same image.

Bleaching

 Process of lightening of the teeth, usually using a chemical oxidizing agent and sometimes in the presence of heat. Removal of deep seated intrinsic or acquired discolorations from crowns of vital and non-vital teeth through the use of chemicals, sometimes in combination with the application of heat and light. Bleaching has been achieved through short and long term applications of pastes or solutions containing various concentrations of hydrogen peroxide and carbamide peroxide. Normally applied externally to teeth; may be used internally for endodontically treated teeth.

Bonding

 Process by which two or more components are made integral by mechanical and/or chemical adhesion at their interface.

Bruxism

 The parafunctional grinding of the teeth.

Buccal

 Pertaining to or toward the cheek (as in the buccal surface of a posterior tooth).

C

Canal: A relatively narrow tubular passage or channel.

  1. root canal – Space inside the root portion of a tooth containing pulp tissue.
  2. mandibular canal – The passage which transmits vessels and nerves through the jaw to branches that distributes them to the teeth.

Cantilever extension

 Part of a fixed prosthesis that extends beyond the abutment to which it is attached and has no additional support.

Caries

 Commonly used term for tooth decay.

Cavity

 Missing tooth structure. A cavity may be due to decay, erosion or abrasion. If caused by caries; also referred to as carious lesion.

Cementum

 Hard connective tissue covering the outer surface of a tooth root.

Cephalometric image

 A standardized, extraoral projection utilized in the scientific study of the measurements of the head.

Cleft palate

 Congenital deformity resulting in lack of fusion of the soft and/or hard palate, either partial or complete.

Clenching

 The clamping and pressing of the jaws and teeth together in centric occlusion, frequently associated with psychological stress or physical effort.

Clinical crown

 That portion of a tooth not covered by tissues.

Complete denture

 A prosthetic for the edentulous maxillary or mandibular arch, replacing the full dentition. Usually includes six anterior teeth and eight posterior teeth.

Complete series

 A set of intraoral radiographs usually consisting of 14 to 22 periapical and posterior bitewing images intended to display the crowns and roots of all teeth, periapical areas and alveolar bone crest (source: FDA/ADA radiographic guidelines).

Composite

 A dental restorative material made up of disparate or separate parts (e.g. resin and quartz particles). 

Compound fracture

 Break in bone which is exposed to external contamination.

Comprehensive Oral Evalution:

Comprehensive oral evaluation

 The patient assessment that may include gathering of information through interview, observation, examination, and use of specific tests that allows a dentist to diagnose existing conditions.

Conscious Sedation 

A minimally depressed level of consciousness, produced by a pharmacological method, that retains the patient’s ability to independently and continuously maintain an airway and respond normally to tactile stimulation and verbal command. Although cognitive function and coordination may be modestly impaired, ventilatory and cardiovascular functions are unaffected.

Coping

 A thin covering of the coronal portion of the tooth usually without anatomic conformity. Custom made or pre-fabricated thimble-shaped core or base layer designed to fit over a natural tooth preparation, a post core, or implant abutment so as to act as a substructure onto which other components can be added to give final form to a restoration or prosthesis. It can be used as a definitive restoration or as part of a transfer procedure.

Core buildup

 The replacement of a part or all of the crown of a tooth whose purpose is to provide a base for the retention of an indirectly fabricated crown.

Coronal

 Refers to the crown of a tooth.

Cracked tooth syndrome

 A collection of symptoms characterized by transient acute pain experienced when chewing.

Crown

 An artificial replacement that restores missing tooth structure by surrounding the remaining coronal tooth structure, or is placed on a dental implant. It is made of metal, ceramic or polymer materials or a combination of such materials. It is retained by luting cement or mechanical means. (American College of Prosthodontics; The Glossary of Prosthodontic Terms).

Crown lengthening

 A surgical procedure exposing more tooth for restorative purposes by apically positioning the gingival margin and removing supporting bone.

Curettage

 Scraping and cleaning the walls of a real or potential space, such as a gingival pocket or bone, to remove pathologic material.

Cusp

 Pointed or rounded eminence on or near the masticating surface of a tooth.

Cuspid

 Single cusped tooth located between the incisors and bicuspids.

Cytology

 The study of cells, including their anatomy, chemistry, physiology and pathology.

D

Debridement

 Removal of subgingival and/or supragingival plaque and calculus.

Decay

 The lay term for carious lesions in a tooth; decomposition of tooth structure.

Deciduous

 Having the property of falling off or shedding; a term used to describe the primary teeth.

Dental prophylaxis

Removal of plaque, calculus and stains from the tooth structures. It is intended to control local irritational factors.

  1. prosthesis: Artificial replacement of any part of the body.
  2. definitive prosthesis–Prosthesis to be used over an extended period of time.
  3. dental prosthesis–Any device or appliance replacing one or more missing teeth and/or, if required, associated structures. (This is a broad term which includes abutment crowns and abutment inlays/onlays, bridges, dentures, obturators, gingival prostheses.)
  4. fixed prosthesis–Non-removable dental prosthesis which is solidly attached to abutment teeth, roots or implants.
  5. fixed-removable prosthesis–Combined prosthesis, one or more parts of which are fixed, and the other(s) attached by devices which allow their detachment, removal and reinsertion by the dentist only.
  6. interim prosthesis–A provisional prosthesis designed for use over a limited period of time, after which it is to be replaced by a more definitive restoration.
  7. removable prosthesis–Complete or partial prosthesis, which after an initial fitting by a dentist, can be removed and reinserted by the patient.

Dentin

 Hard tissue which forms the bulk of the tooth and develops from the dental papilla and dental pulp, and in the mature state is mineralized.

Dentition

 The teeth in the dental arch.

  1. adolescent dentition– Refers to the stage of permanent dentition prior to cessation of skeletal growth.
  2. primary deciduous (dentition)Refers to the deciduous or primary teeth in the dental arch.
  3. permanent dentition (adult dentition)  Refers to the permanent teeth in the dental arch.
  4. transitional dentitionRefers to a mixed dentition; begins with the appearance of the permanent first molars and ends with the exfoliation of the deciduous teeth.

Denture

 An artificial substitute for some or all of the natural teeth and adjacent tissues.

Denture base

 That part of a denture that makes contact with soft tissue and retains the artificial teeth.

Diagnostic cast

 A replica of teeth and adjoining tissues created digitally or by a casting process (e.g., plaster into an impression). “Study model” is another term used for such a replica. Diagnostic casts have various uses, most often the examination of relationships between oral tissues to determine how those relationships will effect form and function of a dental restoration or appliance being planned or to determine whether tissue treatment or modification might be necessary before a pre-definitive impression is taken to ensure optimal performance of the planned restoration or appliance.

Diastema

A space, such as one between two adjacent teeth in the same dental arch.

Direct pulp cap

 Procedure in which the exposed vital pulp is treated with a therapeutic material, followed with a base and restoration, to promote healing and maintain pulp vitality.

Distal

 Surface or position of a tooth most distant from the median line of the arch.

Dressing

 Medication, bandages or other therapeutic material applied to a wound.

Dry socket

 Localized inflammation of the tooth socket following extraction due to infection or loss of blood clot; osteitis.

E

Edentulous

 Without teeth.

Enamel

 Hard calcified tissue covering dentin of the crown of tooth.

Excision

 Surgical removal of bone or tissue.

Exfoliative

 Refers to a thin layer of epidermis shed from the surface.

Extraction

The process or act of removing a tooth or tooth parts.

Extraoral

 Outside the oral cavity.

Exudate

 A material usually resulting from inflammation or necrosis that contains fluid, cells, and/or other debris.

F

Filling

 A lay term used for the restoring of lost tooth structure by using materials such as metal, alloy, plastic or porcelain.

Fixed partial denture

 A prosthetic replacement of one or more missing teeth cemented or otherwise attached to the abutment natural teeth or their implant replacements.

Fracture

 The breaking of a part, especially of a bony structure; breaking of a tooth.  See simple fracture and compound fracture.

Frenum

 Muscle fibers covered by a mucous membrane that attaches the cheek, lips and or tongue to associated dental mucosa.

Furcation

 The anatomic area of a multirooted tooth where the roots diverge.

G

General anesthesia

 A procedure that controls the patient’s level of anxiety or pain.  Delivery of an anesthesia inducing agent by a dentist or other health care practitioner is regulated by state dental boards.

Gingiva

 Soft tissues overlying the crowns of unerupted teeth and encircling the necks of those that have erupted. 

Gingivectomy

 The excision or removal of gingiva.

Gingivitis

 Inflammation of gingival tissue without loss of connective tissue.

Gingivoplasty

Surgical procedure to reshape gingiva.

Graft

 A piece of tissue or alloplastic material placed in contact with tissue to repair a defect or supplement a deficiency.

  1. allograft–Graft of tissue between genetically dissimilar members of the same species. Donors may be cadavers, living related or living unrelated individuals. Also called allogenic graft or homograft.
  2. autogenous graft–Taken from one part of a patient’s body and transferred to another.

H

Hemisection

 Surgical separation of a multi-rooted tooth.

Histopathology

 The study of disease processes at the cellular level.

Hyperplastic

 Pertaining to an abnormal increase in the number of cells in an organ or a tissue with consequent enlargement.

I

Immediate denture

 Prosthesis constructed for placement immediately after removal of remaining natural teeth.

Impacted tooth

 An unerupted or partially erupted tooth that is positioned against another tooth, bone, or soft tissue so that complete eruption is unlikely.

 Implant

 Material inserted or grafted into tissue.

  1. dental implant: A device specially designed to be placed surgically within or on the mandibular or maxillary bone as a means of providing location and support for dental replacement prosthesis.
  2. endosteal (endosseous): Device placed into the alveolar and basal bone of the mandible or maxilla and transecting only one cortical plate.
  3. eposteal (subperiosteal): Subperiosteal implant that conforms to the superior surface of an edentulous area of alveolar bone.
  4. transosteal (transosseous): Device with threaded posts penetrating both the superior and inferior cortical bone plates of the mandibular symphysis and exiting through the permucosa. It may be intraoral or extraoral.

Incisal

 Pertaining to the biting edges of the incisor and cuspid teeth.

Incision and drainage

 The procedure of incising a fluctuant mucosal lesion to allow for the release of fluid from the lesion.

Incisor

 A tooth for cutting or gnawing; located in the front of the mouth in both jaws.

Indirect pulp cap

 Procedure in which the nearly exposed pulp is covered with a protective dressing to protect the pulp from additional injury and to promote healing and repair via formation of secondary dentin.

Inlay

 A fixed intracoronal restoration; a fixed dental restoration made outside of a tooth to correspond to the form of the prepared cavity, which is then luted to the tooth. 

Interproximal

 Between the adjoining surfaces of adjacent teeth in the same arch.

Intraoral

 Inside the mouth.

J

Jaw

 A common name for either the maxilla or the mandible.

Laminate veneer

 A thin covering of the facial surface of a tooth usually constructed of tooth colored material used to restore discolored, damaged, misshapen or misaligned teeth.

L

Lesion

 An injury or wound; area of diseased tissue.

Limited Oral Evaluation

The patient assessment that may include gathering of information through interview, observation, examination, and use of specific tests that allows a dentist to diagnose existing conditions.

Lingual

 Pertaining to or around the tongue; surface of the tooth directed toward the tongue; opposite of facial.

Local Anesthesia

A procedure that controls the patient’s level of anxiety or pain.  Delivery of an anesthesia inducing agent by a dentist or other health care practitioner is regulated by state dental boards.

M

Maintenance, periodontal

 Therapy for preserving the state of health of the periodontium.

Malignant

 Having the properties of dysplasia, invasion, and metastasis.

Malocclusion

 Improper alignment of biting or chewing surfaces of upper and lower teeth.

Mandible

 The lower jaw.

Maryland bridge

 Fixed partial denture featuring retainers which are resin bonded to natural teeth that serve as an abutment.

Maxilla

 The upper jaw.

Microabrasion

 Mechanical removal of a small amount of tooth structure to eliminate superficial enamel discoloration defects.

Microorganisms

 A minute living organism, such as a bacterium, fungus, yeast, virus or rickettsia.

Molar

 Teeth posterior to the premolars (bicuspids) on either side of the jaw; grinding teeth, having large crowns and broad chewing surfaces.

Mouthguard

 Individually molded device designed primarily to be worn for the purpose of helping prevent

Mucous membrane

 Lining of the oral cavity as well as other canals and cavities of the body; also called “mucosa.”

N

Non-autogenous

 A graft from donor other than patient.

O

Obturate

 With reference to endodontics, refers to the sealing of the canal(s) of tooth roots during root canal therapy procedure with an appropriately prescribed material such as gutta percha in combination with a suitable luting agent.

Occlusal

 Pertaining to the biting surfaces of the premolar and molar teeth or contacting surfaces of opposing teeth or opposing occlusion rims.

Occlusal radiograph

 An intraoral radiograph made with the film, phosphorous plate, emulsion or digital sensor being held between the occluded teeth.

Occlusion Any contact between biting or chewing surfaces of maxillary (upper) and mandibular (lower) teeth.

Onlay

 A dental restoration made outside the oral cavity that covers one or more cusp tips and adjoining occlusal surfaces, but not the entire external surface. It is retained by luting cement.

Operculectomy

Removal of the operculum.

Operculum

The flap of tissue over an unerupted or partially erupted tooth.

Orthotic device

 Apparatus used to support, align, prevent or correct deformities, or to improve the function of movable parts of the body.

Osteotomy

 Surgical cutting of bone.

Overdenture

 A removable prosthetic device that overlies and may be supported by retained tooth roots or implants.

P

Palate

 The hard and soft tissues forming the roof of the mouth that separates the oral and nasal cavities.

Palliative

 Action that relieves pain but is not curative.

Panoramic radiograph

 An extraoral projection whereby the entire mandible, maxilla, teeth and other nearby structures are portrayed on a single image, as if the jaws were flattened out.

Partial denture

 Usually refers to a prosthetic device that replaces missing teeth. See fixed partial denture or removable partial denture.

Periapical Cyst

  1. cyst: Pathological cavity, usually lined with epithelium, containing fluid or soft matter.
  2. odontogenic cyst–Cyst derived from the epithelium of odontogenic tissue (developmental, primordial).
  3. periapical cyst–An apical inflammatory cyst containing a sac-like epithelium-lined cavity that is open to and continuous with the root canal.

Periapical radiograph

 A radiograph made by the intraoral placement of film, phosphorous plate, emulsion or digital sensor, for disclosing the apices of the teeth.

Periodic oral evaluation

 The patient assessment that may include gathering of information through interview, observation, examination, and use of specific tests that allows a dentist to diagnose existing conditions.

Periodontal abscess

Acute or chronic localized inflammation, probably with a collection of pus, associated with tissue destruction and, frequently, swelling; usually secondary to infection.

Periodontal disease

 Inflammatory process of the gingival tissues and/or periodontal membrane of the teeth, resulting in an abnormally deep gingival sulcus, possibly producing periodontal pockets and loss of supporting alveolar bone.

Periodontal pocket

 Pathologically deepened gingival sulcus; a feature of periodontal disease.

Periodontics

 Periodontics is that specialty of dentistry which encompasses the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the supporting and surrounding tissues of the teeth or their substitutes and the maintenance of the health, function and esthetics of these structures and tissues.

Periodontist

 A dental specialist whose practice is limited to the treatment of diseases of the supporting and surrounding tissues of the teeth.

Periodontitis

 Inflammation and loss of the connective tissue of the supporting or surrounding structure of teeth with loss of attachment.

Periodontium

 tissue complex comprising gingival, cementum, periodontal ligament, and alveolar bone which attaches, nourishes and supports the tooth.

Permanent dentition

 Refers to the permanent (“adult”) teeth in the dental arch that either replace the primary dentition or erupt distally to the primary molar.

Plaque

 A soft sticky substance that accumulates on teeth composed largely of bacteria and bacterial derivatives.

Pontic

 The term used for an artificial tooth on a fixed partial denture (bridge).

Post

Rod-like component designed to be inserted into a prepared root canal space so as to provide structural support. This device can either be in the form of an alloy, carbon fiber or fiberglass, and posts are usually secured with appropriate luting agents.

Posterior

 Refers to teeth and tissues towards the back of the mouth (distal to the canines); maxillary and mandibular premolars and molars. The designation of permanent posterior teeth in the Universal/National tooth numbering system include teeth 1 through 5 and 12 through 16 (maxillary), and 17 through 21 and 28 through 32 (mandibular); primary teeth in the Universal tooth numbering system are designated A, B, I and J (maxillary), and K, L, S and T (mandibular).

Premedication

 The use of medications prior to dental procedures.

Prophylaxis

 Removal of plaque, calculus and stains from the tooth structures. It is intended to control local irritational factors.

Prosthesis

 Artificial replacement of any part of the body.

  1. definitive prosthesis–Prosthesis to be used over an extended period of time.
  2. dental prosthesis–Any device or appliance replacing one or more missing teeth and/or, if required, associated structures. (This is a broad term which includes abutment crowns and abutment inlays/onlays, bridges, dentures, obturators, gingival prostheses.)
  3. fixed prosthesis–Non-removable dental prosthesis which is solidly attached to abutment teeth, roots or implants.
  4. fixed-removable prosthesis–Combined prosthesis, one or more parts of which are fixed, and the other(s) attached by devices which allow their detachment, removal and reinsertion by the dentist only.
  5. interim prosthesis–A provisional prosthesis designed for use over a limited period of time, after which it is to be replaced by a more definitive restoration.
  6. removable prosthesis–Complete or partial prosthesis, which after an initial fitting by a dentist, can be removed and reinserted by the patient.

Provisional

 A restoration or prosthesis placed for a longer time period to enable healing, stabilization or diagnostic purposes.

Pulp

 Connective tissue that contains blood vessels and nerve tissue which occupies the pulp cavity of a tooth.

Pulp cavity

 The space within a tooth which contains the pulp.

Pulpectomy

 Complete removal of vital and non-vital pulp tissue from the root canal space.

Pulpitis

 Inflammation of the dental pulp.

Pulpotomy

 Removal of a portion of the pulp, including the diseased aspect, with the intent of maintaining the vitality of the remaining pulpal tissue by means of a therapeutic dressing.

Q

Quadrant: One of the four equal sections into which the dental arches can be divided; begins at the midline of the arch and extends distally to the last tooth.

R

Radicular

 Pertaining to the root.

Radiograph

 An image or picture produced on a radiation sensitive film, phosphorous plate, emulsion or digital sensor by exposure to ionizing radiation.

Radiographic/surgical implant index

 An appliance, designed to relate osteotomy or fixture position to existing anatomic structures.

Reline

 Process of resurfacing the tissue side of a removable prosthesis with new base material.

Removable partial denture

 A removable partial denture is a prosthetic replacement of one or more missing teeth that can be removed by the patient.

Retainer

  1. orthodontic retainer–Appliance to stabilize teeth following orthodontic treatment.
  2. prosthodontic retainer–A part of a prosthesis that attaches a denture to an abutment tooth, implant abutment, or implant body.

Root canal

 The portion of the pulp cavity inside the root of a tooth; the chamber within the root of the tooth that contains the pulp.

Root canal therapy

 The treatment of disease and injuries of the pulp and associated periradicular conditions.

Root planing

 A treatment procedure designed to remove cementum or surface dentin that is rough, impregnated by calculus, or contaminated with toxins or microorganisms.

S

Scaling

 Removal of plaque, calculus, and stain from teeth.

Sealant

A resinous material designed to be applied to the occlusal surfaces of posterior teeth to prevent occlusal caries.

Sextant

 One of the six relatively equal sections into which a dental arch can be divided, for example: tooth numbers 1-5; 6-11; 12-16; 17-21; 22-27; 28-32. Sometimes used for recording periodontal charting.

Space maintainer

 A passive appliance, usually cemented in place, that holds teeth in position.

Splint

 A device used to support, protect, or immobilize oral structures that have been loosened, replanted, fractured or traumatized. Also refers to devices used in the treatment of temporomandibular joint disorders.

Stomatitis

 Inflammation of the membranes of the mouth.

Supernumerary teeth

 Extra erupted or unerupted teeth that resemble teeth of normal shape.

T

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ)

The connecting hinge mechanism between the base of the skull (temporal bone) and the lower jaw (mandible).

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD or TMJD): Abnormal functioning of temporomandibular joint; also refers to symptoms arising in other areas secondary to the dysfunction.

Tomography

 An X-ray technique that produces an image representing a detailed cross section of tissue structures at a predetermined depth.

Torus

 A bony elevation or protuberance of bone

Tracheotomy

A surgical procedure to create an opening in the trachea (windpipe) to aid in breathing.

Transitional

 Relating to a passage or change from one position, state, phase or concept to another.

Transitional dentition

 Refers to a mixed dentition; begins with the appearance of the permanent first molars and ends with the exfoliation of the deciduous teeth.

Treatment plan

 The sequential guide for the patient’s care as determined by the dentist’s diagnosis and is used by the dentist for the restoration to and/or maintenance of optimal oral health.

Trismus

 Restricted ability to open the mouth, usually due to inflammation or fibrosis of the muscles of mastication.

Tuberosity

 A protuberance on a bone.

U

Unerupted

 Tooth/teeth that have not penetrated into the oral cavity.

V

veneer

 A thin covering of the facial surface of a tooth usually constructed of tooth colored material used to restore discolored, damaged, misshapen or misaligned teeth.

X

Xerostomia

Decreased salivary secretion that produces a dry and sometimes burning sensation of the oral mucosa and/or cervical caries.

X-ray

An image or picture produced on a radiation sensitive film, phosphorous plate, emulsion or digital sensor by exposure to ionizing radiation.