Here are some definitions of key dental terms to help you become more familiar with dentistry and the services we provide at our offices.
General Dentists are here to provide excellent care and maintenance for your teeth.
Here are some definitions of key dental terms to help you become more familiar with dentistry and the services we provide at our offices:
Cleaning also known as Prophylaxis by Dentists and Hygienists is the removal of plaque, calculus and other bacteria from the surface of the teeth by scaling and polishing it. Cleaning is usually done twice yearly and during this time the dentist also checks for cavities and watch for oral cancer.
Sealants are a type of resin that is placed on the biting surface of the teeth to prevent them from decay. The back teeth are usually difficult to clean and if not properly cleaned it can cause bacteria and food particles to accumulate in them, which could lead to cavities. By applying sealants on the surface of the teeth the grooves and depressions on the teeth can be sealed to prevent this from happening. Sealants are usually applied to molars, premolars and areas that are susceptible to cavities.
Fillings are used to restore tooth damaged due to decay. The Dentist removes the decayed part of the tooth and then fills it us with a filling material. The most commonly used filling materials are Composite and Amalgam.
Composite fillings are made of a kind of resin and are preferred in more visible areas of the teeth as they give the tooth a more white natural color.
Amalgam fillings usually consist of silver and mercury. They are more durable and resistant to wear and tear. They however give the tooth a darker color and are more noticeable on the tooth.
Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy is used to save a tooth that is badly decayed and would otherwise have to be removed. In this procedure the tooth is drilled and the infected nerve, bacteria and other decay is removed and filled with a medicated dental material. After the Root canal treatment is completed a crown or cap is placed on top of the tooth to protect it from breaking and make it fully functional. In some cases it may be a better solution to extraction and usually lasts a lifetime.
Periodontal therapy is effecting in eliminating bacterial infections that can cause gum disease. It helps control gum inflammation that could lead to destruction of the tissues anchoring teeth to the jawbones. If not done in a timely manner it could cause gingivitis and if not treated could lead to a severe stage known as periodontitis.
A bridge is used to replace one or more missing teeth. It is a combination of a false tooth and crown and can be placed over an existing tooth or implant. These natural or implanted teeth serve as anchors for the bridge. The replacement tooth is known as pontic and is attached to crowns that cover the natural or implanted teeth.
Dentures are a set of artificial teeth and can be of two types: Full and Partial and are usually used to replace missing teeth.
Full dentures involve a flesh-colored acrylic base that fits over the gums. The base of the upper denture covers the palate and the lower denture is shaped like a horseshoe to accommodate the tongue. Once all teeth have been extracted the dentist will take an impression of the gums and make dentures accordingly.
Removable or partial dentures comprise of a metal or plastic framework with plastic teeth and gum areas. It includes metal or plastic clasps which hold the denture in place.