Dental Care Definitions



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


A tooth or implant fixture used as a support for a prosthesis.

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.


State in which two surfaces are held together by chemical or physical forces or both with or without the aid of an adhesive. Adhesion is one aspect of bonding.


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


A secondary treatment in addition to the primary therapy.

Adult Dentition

The permanent teeth of adulthood that either replace the primary dentition or erupt distally to the primary molars. A statistical condition within a group when there is a greater demand for dental services and/or more services necessary than the average expected for that group.


Compound combining two or more elements having properties not existing in any of the single constituent elements. Sometimes used to refer to amalgam.


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


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.


See definition under anesthesia.

Anatomical Crown

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


Subordinate or auxiliary to something or someone else; supplementary.


A patient's level of consciousness is determined by the provider and not the route of administration of anesthesia. State dental boards regulate the use of anesthesia techniques. The ADA House of Delegates adopted and has published anesthesia policy and guidelines, which are available online.

Deep Sedation

A drug-induced depression of consciousness during which patients cannot be easily aroused but respond purposefully following repeated or painful stimulation. The ability to independently maintain ventilatory function may be impaired. Patients may require assistance in maintaining a patent airway, and spontaneous ventilation may be inadequate. Cardiovascular function is usually maintained.

General Anesthesia

A drug-induced loss of consciousness during which patients are not arousable, even by painful stimulation. The ability to independently maintain ventilatory function is often impaired. Patients often require assistance in maintaining a patent airway, and positive pressure ventilation may be required because of depressed spontaneous ventilation or drug-induced depression of neuromuscular function. Cardiovascular function may be impaired.

Local anesthesia

The elimination of sensation, especially pain, in one part of the body by the topical application or regional injection of a drug.


The diminution or elimination of pain.


Mandibular and maxillary centrals, laterals and cuspids. The designation of permanent anterior teeth in the Universal/National tooth numbering system include teeth 6 through 11 (maxillary), and 22 through 27 (mandibular); primary teeth in the Universal/National tooth numbering system are designated C through H (maxillary), and M through R (mandibular). Also refers to the teeth and tissues located towards the front of the mouth.


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


Amputation of the apex of a tooth.

Arch, Dental

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.

Artificial Crown

Restoration covering or replacing the major part, or the whole of the clinical crown of a tooth, or implant.


Barrier Membrane

Usually a thin, sheet-like usually non-autogenous material used in various surgical regenerative procedures.


The mild or non-threatening character of an illness or the non-malignant character of a neoplasm.


A premolar tooth; a tooth with two cusps.


Occurring on, or pertaining to, both right and left sides.


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.


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 crown 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.


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


See fixed partial denture.


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



Hard deposit of mineralized substance adhering to crown


A relatively narrow tubular passage or channel.

Root canal

Space inside the root portion of a tooth containing pulp tissue.


Commonly used term for tooth decay.

Carious Lesion

A cavity caused by caries.


See diagnostic cast.


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

Cement Base

Material used under a filling to replace lost tooth structure.

Cephalometric Image

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


Refers to pressed, fired, polished or milled materials containing predominantly inorganic refractory compounds including porcelains, glasses, ceramics and glass-ceramics.

Cleft Palate

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


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

Crown of the tooth

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

An entire set of radiographs. 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).


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.


In a dental setting, a diagnostic service provided by a dentist where the dentist, patient, or other parties (e.g., another dentist, physician, or legal guardian) discuss the patient's dental needs and proposed treatment modalities.


Adjacent; touching.


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.

Cracked Tooth Syndrome

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


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.

Crown Lengthening

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

Culture and Sensitivity Test

Clinical laboratory test which identifies a microorganism and the ability of various antibiotics to control the microorganism.


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


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


Single cusped tooth located between the incisors and bicuspids.


Pathological cavity, usually lined with epithelium, containing fluid or soft matter.


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



Removal of subgingival and/or supragingival plaque and calculus which obstructs the ability to perform an evaluation.


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


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

Deep Sedation

See anesthesia.


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.


The evaluation, diagnosis, prevention and/or treatment (nonsurgical, surgical or related procedures) of diseases, disorders and/or conditions of the oral cavity, maxillofacial area and/or the adjacent and associated structures and their impact on the human body; provided by a dentist, within the scope of his/her education, training and experience, in accordance with the ethics of the profession and applicable law.


The teeth in the dental arch.

Adolescent Dentition

In orthodontic coding, refers to the stage of permanent dentition prior to cessation of growth.

Deciduous Dentition

Refers to the deciduous or primary teeth in the dental arch.

Permanent Dentition (adult dentition)

Refers to the permanent teeth in the dental arch.

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.


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

Plaster or stone model of teeth and adjoining tissues; also referred to as study model. Primarily for use in extra-oral examinations of relationships existing between oral tissues so as to determine how those relationships will effect form and function of a dental restoration or appliance being planned, or so as to determine whether subsequent pre-definitive impression tissue treatment or modification might be necessary in order to insure optimal performance of the planned restoration or appliance.

Diagnostic Imaging

A visual display of structural or functional patterns for the purpose of diagnostic evaluation. May be photographic or radiographic.


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.

Displaced Tooth

A partial evulsion of a tooth; may be mesial, distal, facial, lingual or incisal.


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


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.



Without teeth.


Hard calcified tissue covering dentin of the crown of tooth.


Endodontics is the branch of dentistry which is concerned with the morphology, physiology and pathology of the human dental pulp and periradicular tissues. Its study and practice encompass the basic and clinical sciences including biology of the normal pulp, the etiology, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases and injuries of the pulp and associated periradicular conditions.


A dental specialist who limits his/her practice to treating disease and injuries of the pulp and associated periradicular conditions.

Established Patient

A patient who has received professional services from a dentist or another dentist of the same specialty who belongs to the same group practice, within the past three years, subject to state laws.


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. Please refer to specific oral evaluation code descriptors for more complete definitions.


Separation of the tooth from its socket due to trauma. See avulsion.


Surgical removal of bone or tissue.


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


Overgrowth of bone.


Outside the oral cavity.


Outside the crown of a tooth.


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



The surface of a tooth directed toward the cheeks or lips (i.e., the buccal and labial surfaces) and opposite the lingual surface.


Related to a sheet or band of fibrous connective tissue enveloping, separating or binding together muscles, organs and other soft tissue structures of the body.


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 teeth or implant replacements.


The breaking of a part, especially of a bony structure; breaking of a tooth.


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


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



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


The excision or removal of gingiva.


Inflammation of gingival tissue without loss of connective tissue.


Surgical procedure to reshape gingiva.


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



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


Imaging, Diagnostic

This would include, but is not limited to, CAT scans, MRIs, photographs, radiographs, etc.

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.


Material inserted or grafted into tissue.

Dental Implant

A device specially designed to be placed surgically within or on the mandibular or maxillary bone as a means of providing for dental replacement.

Implantation, Tooth

Placement of an artificial or natural tooth into an alveolus.


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.


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.

Indirect Restoration

A restoration fabricated outside the mouth.


An intracoronal dental restoration, made outside the oral cavity to conform to the prepared cavity, which restores some of the occlusal surface of a tooth, but does not restore any cusp tips. It is retained by luting cement. (American College of Prosthodontics; The Glossary of Prosthodontic Terms).


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


Referring to "within" the crown of a tooth.


Inside the mouth.



A common name for either the maxilla or the mandible.



A protein present in all cuticular structures of the body, such as hair, epidermis and horns.



Pertaining to or around the lip.

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.


An injury or wound; area of diseased tissue.


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


Maintenance, Periodontal

Therapy for preserving the state of health of the periodontium.


Having the properties of dysplasia, invasion, and metastasis.


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


The lower jaw.

Maryland Bridge

Fixed partial denture featuring conservative retainers which are resin bonded to abutments.


The upper jaw.


Substance or combination of substances intended to be pharmacologically active, specially prepared to be prescribed, dispensed or administered by authorized personnel to prevent or treat diseases in humans or animals.


Nearer the middle line of the body or the surface of a tooth nearer the center of the dental arch.


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


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


Teeth posterior to the premolars (bicuspids) on either side of the jaw; grinding teeth, having large crown


Individually molded device designed primarily to be worn for the purpose of helping prevent injury to the teeth and their surrounding tissues. Sometimes called a mouth protector.

Mucous Membrane

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



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.

Occlusal Surface

A surface of a posterior tooth or occlusion rim that is intended to make contact with an opposing occlusal surface.


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


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.


Pertaining to the mouth.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

A dental specialist whose practice is limited to the diagnosis, surgical and adjunctive treatment of diseases, injuries, deformities, defects and esthetic aspects of the oral and maxillofacial regions.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Oral and maxillofacial surgery is the specialty of dentistry which includes the diagnosis, surgical and adjunctive treatment of diseases, injuries and defects involving both the functional and esthetic aspects of the hard and soft tissues of the oral and maxillofacial region.

Oral Diagnosis

The determination by a dentist of the oral health condition of an individual patient achieved through the evaluation of data gathered by means of history taking, direct examination, patient conference, and such clinical aids and tests as may be necessary in the judgment of the dentist.


A dental specialist whose practice is limited to the interception and treatment of malocclusion and other neuromuscular and skeletal abnormalities of the teeth and their surrounding structures.

Orthodontic and Dentofacial Orthopedics Orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics is the dental specialty that includes the diagnosis, prevention, interception, and correction of malocclusion, as well as neuromuscular and skeletal abnormalities of the developing or mature orofacial structures.


Orthotic Device

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


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



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


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.

Pediatric Dentist

A dental specialist whose practice is limited to treatment of children from birth through adolescence, providing primary and comprehensive preventive and therapeutic oral health care; formerly known as a pedodontist.

Pediatric Dentistry

Pediatric Dentistry is an age-defined specialty that provides both primary and comprehensive preventive and therapeutic oral health care for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health care needs.


See pediatric dentist.


The area surrounding the end of the tooth root.

Periapical Radiograph

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


Around the crown of a tooth.


Pertaining to the supporting and surrounding tissues of the teeth.

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 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.


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


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


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

Permanent dentition

Refers to the permanent or adult teeth in the dental arch.


A small metal rod, cemented or driven into dentin to aid in retention of a restoration.


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


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


Refers to pressed, fired, polished or milled materials containing predominantly inorganic refractory compounds including porcelains, glasses, ceramics and glass-ceramics.


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.


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).

Precision Attachment

Interlocking device, having a male component integrated into a removable prosthesis that fits precisely into a female component embedded in the body of abutment teeth or implant abutments, to stabilize or retain the prosthesis when it is seated in the mouth.


The use of medications prior to dental procedures.


See bicuspid.

Preventive Dentistry

Aspects of dentistry concerned with promoting good oral health and function by preventing or reducing the onset and/or development of oral diseases or deformities and the occurrence of oro-facial injuries.

Primary dentition

The first set of teeth; see deciduous.


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


Artificial replacement of any part of the body.

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 crown).

Fixed prosthesis

Non-removable dental prosthesis which is solidly attached to abutment teeth, roots or implants.

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.

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.

Removable Prosthesis

Complete or partial prosthesis, which after an initial fitting by a dentist, can be removed and reinserted by the patient.


Prosthodontics is the dental specialty pertaining to the diagnosis, treatment planning, rehabilitation and maintenance of the oral function, comfort, appearance and health of patients with clinical conditions associated with missing or deficient teeth and/or oral and maxillofacial tissues using biocompatible substitutes.


A dental specialist whose practice is limited to the restoration of the natural teeth and/or the replacement of missing teeth with artificial substitutes.


Formed or preformed for temporary purposes or used over a limited period; a temporary or interim solution; usually refers to a prosthesis or individual tooth restoration.


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

Pulp Cap

See direct pulp cap; indirect pulp cap..

Pulp Cavity

The space within a tooth which contains the pulp.


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


Inflammation of the dental pulp.


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.



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.


Radiographic/surgical implant index

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


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


Process of refitting a denture by replacing the base material.


Procedure used to encourage biologic root repair of external and internal resorption defects.

Reimplantation, Tooth

The return of a tooth to its alveolus.


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.

Resin, Acrylic

Resinous material of the various esters of acrylic acid, used as a denture base material, for trays or for other restorations.

Resin-Based Composite

See composite.

Resin Infiltration

Application of a resin material engineered to penetrate and fill the sub-surface pore system of an incipient caries lesion to strengthen, stabilize, and limit the lesion's progression, as well as mask visible white spots.

Orthodontic Retainer

Appliance to stabilize teeth following orthodontic treatment.

Prosthodontic Retainer

A part of a prosthesis that attaches a restoration to the abutment tooth, implant abutment, or implant.


The anatomic portion of the tooth that is covered by cementum and is located in the alveolus (socket) where it is attached by the periodontal apparatus; radicular portion of tooth.

Residual Root

Remaining root structure following the loss of the major portion (over 75%) of the crown.

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 definitive treatment procedure designed to remove cementum and/or dentin that is rough, may be permeated by calculus, or contaminated with toxins or microorganisms.

Rubber Dam

A barrier technique used to prevent the passage of saliva or moisture, or to provide an isolated operative field.


Salivary Gland

Exocrine glands that produce saliva and empty it into the mouth; these include the parotid glands, the submandibular glands and the sublingual glands.


Removal of plaque, calculus, and stain from teeth.


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

Sedative Filling

A temporary restoration intended to relieve pain.

Semi-Precision Attachment

A device, one component of which is fixed to an abutment or abutments and the other is integrated into a fixed or removable prosthesis in order to stabilize and/or retain it.


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.


A term used to describe a single area, position, or locus. For periodontal procedures, an area of soft tissue recession on a single tooth or an osseous defect adjacent to a single tooth; also used to indicate soft tissue defects and/or osseous defects in edentulous tooth positions.

Space Maintainer

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


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.


Inflammation of the membranes of the mouth.

Study model

Plaster or stone model of teeth and adjoining tissues; also referred to as diagnostic cast. See diagnostic cast.

Succedaneous Tooth

A permanent tooth that replaces a primary (deciduous) tooth.

Supernumerary Teeth

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


Stitch used to repair incision or wound.


Temporary Removable Denture

An interim prosthesis designed for use over limited period of time.

Temporomandibular (TMJ)

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


Of or pertaining to therapy or treatment; beneficial. Therapy has as its goal the elimination or control of a disease or other abnormal state.

Tissue conditioning

Material intended to be placed in contact with tissues, for a limited period, with the aim of assisting the return to a healthy condition.


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


A bony elevation or protuberance of bone.


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.


Surgical placement of biological material from one site to another.

Transplantation of Tooth

Transfer of a tooth from one socket to another, either in the same or a different person.

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.


A protuberance on a bone.



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



One-sided; pertaining to or affecting but one side.


See laminate veneer.

Vertical bitewing

A dental image with a central projection on which the teeth can close, holding it in a vertical position for the radiographic examination of several upper and lower teeth simultaneously.


Any of a series of surgical procedures designed to increase relative alveolar ridge height.


Wax Pattern

A wax form that is the positive likeness of an object to be fabricated.



See radiograph.