Dental Dictionary

Common Dental Terms

 

Dr. Cassell, along with all of our staff at Cassell Dentistry, make it a goal to explain the dental procedures clearly to all of our patients prior to treatment but you may be interested in more information. There are some common dental terms that we may use when discussing your situation. Some of these terms may include:

 

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal Disease is a dental disorder that more than half of adults suffer from. There are several terms that we use in connection with this disease referring to varying degrees of progression.

 

  • Periodontal Disease: Is a inflammation or infection of the soft gum tissue that supports your teeth by holding them in place. Your gums can become infected when plaque, calculus or tartar, is left in place and not regularly brushed away from daily brushing or having a dental cleaning at least twice a year. This material causes infection that causes several responses that you can visually detect. You may experience red, puffy gums that bleed slightly while brushing or flossing. Many patients have come to the conclusion that it is normal for gums to bleed when you floss, but this is not true, it is a sign that your gums are infected.
  • Gum Disease:This term is in reference to Periodontal Disease and more commonly used by patients. Infected gums can lead to the progression of gum pockets as your gums pull away from the infected material, which also means that your gums are pulling away from your teeth. At your dental checkup, you may hear the dental hygienist call out measurements, ranging from 1-5 mm, healthy gums do not have pockets that exceed 3mm.
  • Gingivitis: Is the early stage of gum disease or periodontal disease. In most situations, gingivitis can be treated with simply a dental cleaning from a professional dental hygienist such as ours at Cassell Dentistry.
  • Chronic Periodontitis: Is the most destructive form of periodontitis or gum disease. This means that the infection is in the process of destroying valuable bone material, which will result in the loss of the tooth if not taken care of.
  • Plaque: Plaque is a naturally occurring material that forms in your mouth constantly. It is a blend of food debris and saliva, and filled with living, thriving bacteria that coats your teeth and rests along the ridge between your tooth and gum. Initially, this material is soft and easy to remove with daily brushing. If not removed, it will dry and harden.
  • Tartar and Calculus: Is plaque after it has dried and hardened. This material is dangerous to the health of your teeth. This hardened material is difficult to remove, and should only be removed by a hygienist so that the enamel of the tooth is not damaged. Tartar, or calculus, is the material that decays our teeth and causes gum disease.

 

Dental Prosthetics

Dental prosthetics include various forms of tooth replacement, when a tooth has been damaged, weakened, or lost. It’s important to protect your natural teeth, or to replace them, for your bite, your speech, and your aesthetics. Some of your prosthetic options includes:

 

  • Dental Crown: A dental crown is used to protect a tooth that has been damaged or weakened. Our first goal is always to protect your natural tooth structure, so if a tooth is broken, or has had a root canal procedure performed, we then cover the tooth with a crown, or cap, entirely encasing the tooth and serving as a shield, protecting the natural tooth below.
  • Dental Bridge: A dental bridge is used to replace a tooth that is missing. This system uses an anchor on either side of the missing tooth, which could be a combination of healthy teeth or dental implants, and a false tooth between.
  • Denture: A denture device is used for the replacement of multiple teeth. Depending on your needs, we have several options and styles available, including implant retained dentures and the All-On-4 Treatment Concept.
  • Dental Implants: Implants are the placement of a titanium post in your jaw bone. This post will serve as a new root system to a tooth that is lost. Once placed, we can use this post as a firm foundation to place a crown, bridge, or denture to.