Localiced pocket of purulent exudate (pus) within a tissue. Cavity  filled with pus. May be acute of chronic.


Tooth that serves to support fixed or removable parttial denture or other prosthesis.

Airmotor Handplece

Dental handpiece desaigned in 1956 that allow compressed air to flow trough a control box and via a flexible hose to the back of a handpiece that activates the blades of a small turbin and produces rotation of approximately 100.000-300.000 rpm.


Alloy of mercury in combination with at least 65 % silver. A minimum of 25% tin, 6 % copper, and some times Zinc. The principal component of dental amalgam is mercury


“Tongue-tied.” Limited movement of the tongue caused by short lingual frenum or one that is attached too far forward on the tongue,i.e., near the tip rather than in the middle. Ankyloglossia may creat a speech idefect.

Apthous Ulcer

Isolated vesicles that rupture to form superficial ulcers within 1 or 2 days and last for 7-10 days. Etiology is unknown.


Mechanical joint that holds artifical maxillary/mandibular casts in the proper occlusal relationship. It represents the temporomandibular joint.

Avulsed Tooth

Loss of tooth from its bony socket due to trauma.


Removal of tissue specimen from patient in order to establish a diagnosis via histopathologic examination.


Act of tearing or cutting of food with the anterior teeth for the purpose of mastication. Act of wouding an individual by use the teeth as aweapon via punnture, cutting, or tearing.


End portion of a dental instrument connected to the handle or shaft by mean of a shank; contains the primary and secondary  cutting edges (on non cutting instruments such as condensers the term “nib” is used in place of blade and the end of working surface of the nib is known as the “face”).


Comminuted mass of food and saliva ready to be swallowed.

Bone Graft

Segment of bone taken from its original site and placed in another site to correct a defect.

Bone graft “Autogenous”

Bone taken from the one part of an individual and placed in another part of the same individual. Also known as autograft.

Bone graft “Heterogeneous”

Bone graft between two different species. Also referred to as xenograft

Bone graft ”Homogeneous“

Bone graft between two individuals of same species.

Bone graft ”Isogeneic”

Bone graft between genetically identical individuals. Also referred to as isograft.

Bone Plate

Flat, metallic bar with several holes placed at equal lengths for the insertion of screws; used for direct fixation of fractures.

Bane Scanning

Radiographic imaging of bone by use of radioactive elements that demonstrate altered metabolism within and around a lesion.


Orthodontic attachment used as means  of transmitting forces from archwires and/or accessories such as elastic traction or headgear to the tooth to cause tooth movement. Bracket are usually fabricated from stainless steel and are either soldered or welded to bands or bonded directly to the surface of teeth.

Brux (Bruxism)

Unconscious grinding, or clechimg of the teeth, usually occurring during sleep. This condition is often associated with repressed aggressions, fatigue, or emotional stress; occlusal interference may be one of the underlying etiologic factors. Abnormal wear patterns on teeth, periodontal breakdown, and temporomandibular joint disturbances are the most common complaints.

Parafunctional habit in witch there is continuous grinding of the teeth during the day and/or night, usually with the patient unaware of it.


Rotary cutting instrument made of steel or tungesten carbide, usually with eight blades. Bur with more than eight blades are ushed for polishing and finishing. The bur consist of a shank, wich fits into the handpiece ; a neck, with connects the shank to the working part; and the head (working pad). The head is of varying shapes.


Deposits composed of calcium and other elements with an organic matrix that is deposited on the crowns and roots of teeth.


Hard, bonelike tissue formed in a bone fracture site to unite the fracture.

Intermediate stage of healing, prior to calcific bone formation.

Cantilever Bridge

Fixed partial denture (bridge) with only one abutment adjacent to the edentulous area.


Disease with molecular decay and disentegration of the enamel and dentin.


Instrument used for shaping or fashioning an object such as wax, amalgam (see Amalgam Carver), or porcelain.


Positive replica of an object, as opposed to an impression, wich is negative of the object. Usually made of stone or plaster.


Carious lesion or area of destruction in a tooth.

Cavity, Black’s Classification

Class I: cavities beginning in structural defects in the of  teeth, pit, and fissure. These are located in located in occlusal surfaces of bicuspids (premolars) and molars, in the lingual surface of the upper molars.

Class II: cavities in the proximal surfaces of the bicuspids and molars.

Class III: cavities in the proximal surface of the incisors  and cuspids

Class IV: cativies in the proximal surface of the incisors and cuspids (canines) that do require the removal of the incical angle.

Class V: cavities in the gingival third (not pit cavities) of the buccal of lingual surface of the tooth.

Class VI: cavities found in the incisal edge and cusp tips of teeth.


Covering of the root of a tooth over the dentin from the cementoenamel junction to the apex. The hard tissue of the root into which the fibers of the periodental ligament are attached.

Calcified tissue of mesenchymal origin that covers the root . It may be cellular or accellular.

Clasp, Ring

Circumferential clasp similar to back action clasp or arm  encircles the tooth.


Surgical treatment of disead tissues with the use of freezing temperature.


Point on the occlusal surface of a posterior tooth used for grinding when occluded into the grooves of opposing teeth.

Conical cup-shaped projection of the enamel.


Artificial restoration for missing natural teeth and their supporting structures. usually made of acrylic resin (base) and acrylic or porcelain teeth.

Denture, Complete

Maxilarry and mandibular dental prostheses replacing all natural teeth and the supporting stuctures of the teeth.

Denture, fixed (Bridge)

Partial denture (cannot be easily removed by either the patient or the dentist). that is intended to be permanently cemented to the prepared teeth or roots and is attached with some type of dental cement. Also called bridge.


Natural teeth that are positioned in the dental arches.

Denture, Immediate

Removable dental prosthesis that is inserted at the same time the remaining natural teeth are extracted.

Denture, Implant

Complete denture that depends for its reretention on a metal substructure that is adpted to or placed in the underlying bone.

Denture, Removable, Partial

Prosthesis replacing one or more teeth (but) not all teeth.


Material applied to awound to protect it from external contamination, to absorb drainage, or to create pressure for prevention of bleeding and/or swelling.


Dificulty in swallowing.


Without any natural teeth. The state of the oral cavity after all teeth have been lost.

Ejector, Saliva

Tubular-shaped plastic- or metal-tipped suction tub attached to either a water or air pressure vacuum system; used to evacuate fluids from the oral cavity during a dental procedure.


Surgical incision of tissues with the use of high-frequency electric current.


In dentistry, an oral surgical instrument used to loosen or luxate teeth prior to extraction. May also be used to remove root fragments from dental sockets.


Surface material of the crown of a tooth composed of transclucent, heavily calcified substance that surrounds the underlying dentin.


Proccess in dental development  in which the teeth push their away trough the hard bone of the alveolus and the covering mucosa to enter the oral cavity. Eruption continues until the teeth of one arch achieve occlusion with the teeth of the opposing arch . In the adult, eruption is a continuous process that compensates for occlusal wear. Supereruption may occur if a tooth in one arch is unopposed by a tooth in the opposite arch.


Colorless or pale yellow liquid extracted from cloves. A derivative of phenol, it reacts as an acid with zinc oxide and water to form a paste (cement for temporary restorations, sedative fillings, or a protective periodontal pack).


Shedding or failing out of an object such as the primary teeth.


Term used to designate the surface of the tooth toward the face (synonyms:buccal,labial).


Transmission of light along a course of flexible material (plastic or glassy). The intense light may be used to transilluminate teeth in diagnosing caries, to augment visualization of the operative field when incorporated in a hand piece.


Material used to restore a prepared a cavity in a tooth or root canal.

Process of inserting, condensing, shaping, and finishing the material used to restore the prepared cavity.


Sections of soft tissue created by various incision and shaped to allow for surgical access movement to tissue.


Break or rupture of a part.

Break or discontinuity, pertaining to a fractured bone, tooth, or cartilage.


Soft tissue portion of the oral mucosa surrounding the necks of teeth and overlying the unerupted teeth.


Inflammationof the gingiva; may be acute or chronic.


Part of dental operating or x-ray chair that serves as a rest for the patient’s head.


In dentistry, the prevention or blocking of eruption of a tooth or teeth by a physical barrier, usually another tooth or teeth.


In medicine and dentistry, amaterial usually alloplastic in nature, placed within the body to replace missing or hypoplastic (underformed) parts.


Body’s protective response to injury; clinically evident by sign and symtoms of redness, pain, swelling , and increase in temperature of the inflamed area.

Occlusal Surface

Surfae or posterior teeth that meets the opposing teeth in the closure of the jaw.

Operative Dentistry

Originally included almost all the present day specialty divisions (e.g. endodontics, orthodontics) but is now commonly limited to the division of restorative dentistry that is concerned with the diagnosis and the treatment of pathologic processes and deviations from the normal state that affect the individual teeth  and their restoration to optimal esthetics, form, and function.


Dentofacial orthopedics. The area of dentistry concerned with the supervision, guidance, and correction of the growing and mature dentofacial stuctures, including those conditions that require movement of teeth or correction of malrelationship and malformations of related structures by the adjusment of relationships between and among teeth and facial bones utilizing the aplication of forces and/or the stimulaiton and redirection of  the functional forces within the craniofacial complex. Major responsibilities of orthodontic practice include the diagnosis, prevention, interception, and treatment of all forms of malocclussion of the teeth and associated alterations in their surrounding  structures; the design, application, and control of functional and corrective appliances; and the guidance of the dentition and its dupporting structures to attain and maintain optimum occlusal relations in physiologic and esthetic harmony among facial and cranial structures.


Term used in osseous surgery that refers to the removal of supporting bone around a tooth, or from the jaws themselves.


Inflammation of a bone, involving the Haversian spaces, canals, and their branches. The condition is generally characterized by tenderness, dull aching pain, and sometimes expansions of the bone.


One of two permanent teeth located in each quadrant of both the maxilla and the mandible, distal to the canines and mesial to the molars, for a total of eight teeth. These teeth succeed the first and the second primry molars in each quadrant. They are also called bicusids.

Resin, Acrylic

Chemical -methyl methacrylate-the ingredient of plastic used in dentistry (e.g. denture acrylic, custom tray acrylic, and temp acrylic for crown and bridge fabrication).


Hand instrument for removing  calculus and other hard deposits from the surface of teeth.

Scaler, Ultrasonic

Instrument tip attached to a transducer through which high-frequency current causes  vibration of aproximately 25,000 cps in conjunction with a stream of water to remove hard deposits from teeth.


Act of removing calculus and bacterial debris from the crowns and roots of teeth by means of specilly designed instruments. It can be supra gingival or subgingival, depending on whether it is done above the gingival margin or below.

Secondary Caries

Carious lesion (recurrent caries) found beneath or adjacent to a margin of a restoration and result from one or a combination of the folowing causes:

1. Failure to eliminate all infected dentin or enamel in initial excavation

2. Failure to gain proper marginal adaptation of the resration

3. Marginal fracture of a restoration or tooth structure

Serial Extraction

In orthodontics, a program of selective extraction of teeth, usually permanent teeth, over an extended period of time to relieve crowding of the remaining teeth and to accelerate or retard eruption of the permanent teeth. Most serial extraction procedures must be followed comprehensive orthodontic  therapy.

Space Maintainer

In orthodontics, an appliance that maintains and controls the arch length following the early loss of primary tooth usually a second or first primary molar, until eruption and replacement by its permanent successor.


Retained infantile habit in wich the thumb or other digit sucked on as a means of pasification. The habit, if severe  and of long duration, may creat a malocclusion.


Radiography taken in section so that serial films focus deeper and deeper into the anatomic structure


Inability to open the mouth, usually due to muscle spasm and/or fibrosis.


In dentistry, a tooth that is located in the dental alveolar process that has not passed trough the oral mucosa.


Circumscribed, elevated lesion less than 5 mm in diameter that contains serous fluid.


C-or U-shaped pocket of soft tissue formed by the cheeks and/or the lips on the out side and the alveolar mucosa and gingiva on the inside. The vestibule is lined with mucous membrame.

Vitality Test

Means of determining by either thermal or electrical stimulation whether the pulp of a tooth is vital.


Diminished salivary flow due to effect of either medications, diseas, age, or physical agents (radiation),yielding a dry, painful mouth.


Penetrating electromagnetic radiations having wave lengths shorter than those of visible light. They are producted by bombarding a metal target with high-speed electrons.


Metallic element (symbol Zn) used in various alloys as in amalgam (5%) to decrease the flow of the amalgam, to increase the expansions of the amalgam, and to increase the crushing strength.

Zinc Oxide

Fine, oderless powder usually used in combination with eugenol as an anodyne, sedative temporary restoration cement for teeth . Also a component of various other cements, pastes, and surgical pack used in dentistry.

Zinc Oxide-Eugenol

Two sparate substances that when mixed together form a material used for impression pastes, for a root canal filing material, for a sedative temporary filling material, and as a dressing after periodontal surgey.