At the Center for Cosmetic & Restorative Dentistry, we think patients should be knowledgeable and informed about their dental procedure. Many dental offices throw around dental jargon that patients may not be familiar with, whereby increasing their apprehension of their dental office visit. It also makes the patient feel invisible and unimportant.
Whether you’re coming in for a routine dental checkup and teeth cleaning in Alabama, getting veneers or getting a full-mouth reconstruction, we’ve compiled a list of the common dental terms you may likely hear during your visit for you to become familiar with so you’ll be fully informed about the work we’ll be doing.
Amalgam: The silver/mercury that is sometimes used for filling teeth.
Anesthesia: Local anesthesia, like Novocain, works to numb the area where the dentist is working. You don’t feel anything and can communicate with the dentist while work is being done.
Bonding: This is the process in which veneers, tooth-colored fillings and crowns are fastened to teeth.
Bridge: A bridge replaces missing teeth. Teeth adjacent to the area of the missing teeth are crowned and used as anchors to support the restorations.
Composite: A durable, tooth-colored material used to fill teeth or change the size, color, and shape of teeth.
Composite Veneers: Thin composite facings made for the front teeth and used to change their shape, size or color.
Consultation: An explanation of the information gathered on the condition of your mouth and the appropriate treatment needed.
Extraction: The removal of a tooth or teeth.
Filling: Fillings are used to repair the portion of the tooth that dental decay has destroyed.
Full Mouth Reconstruction: A combination of various dental procedures that address multiple oral health conditions at one time. The end result is a new and confident smile and the ability to chew comfortably.
Gingivitis: Low-grade gum disease characterized by bleeding, red, inflamed gums. Gingivitis is easily treated and the damage reversed. If left untreated it can progress into the more serious, irreversible periodontal disease.
Implants: Small titanium screws placed in the jawbone, used as an anchor to replace missing teeth or retain a denture.
Occlusal Surface: The chewing surface of the tooth.
Occlusal Adjustment: A process where teeth are smoothed so that all teeth meet evenly. When teeth grinding is the cause of rough teeth surface, a removable guard is prescribed.
Periodontal Disease: A more severe case of gum disease characterized by gum inflammation and irritation. If left untreated, it can lead to the deterioration of the jaw bone and lost teeth.
Plaque: Bacteria that mineralizes and attacks teeth enamel, causing tooth decay.
Porcelain Crowns/Caps: A crown or cap made of porcelain that covers teeth that are broken, have had a root canal or has a large filling. The crown restores and protects the tooth from further damage.
Porcelain Veneers: A veneer is a thin porcelain facing made for the front teeth that can change their shape, color or size.
Restorative Dentistry: Process of restoring missing, damaged or diseased teeth to normal form and function.
Root Canal: A dental process that eliminates the nerve in a tooth.
TMJ: The Temporomandibular Joint connects the lower jaw with the skull. With TMJ, there is sometimes severe pain in either the joint itself or the surrounding muscle structure.
Tooth-Colored Filling: A natural-looking material that is bonded onto the tooth surface to cover the holes in teeth caused by cavities.
Treatment Plan: This is the outline of all appointments and time necessary to complete the appropriate dental work a patient requires.
Tooth Whitening/Bleaching: Dental treatment that whitens teeth.
The Alabama dental professionals here at the Center for Cosmetic & Restorative Dentistry have many years of experience and utilize modern dental technology to address the dental needs of each patient. Call us today at (205) 339-6762 to schedule an appointment.