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Glossary of Dental Terms

A handy reference

Common Dental Terms

We’ve put together this handy reference guide of terms you might hear when speaking with your dentist or support staff.

Please don’t hesitate to ask your dental care provider for clarification. We’re here to help make your experience as pleasant as possible!

Halitosis

Bad breath of oral or gastrointestinal origin.

Heimlich Maneuver

A techinque employed by a rescuer due to the obstruction of victim’s airway.

Hematoma

The swelling of effused blood beneath tissue surface.

HMO or DMO

Health or Dental Maintenance Organization, which specifies a health or dental care provider that a patient may see.

Hydrogen Peroxide

A disinfecting solution used in dental irrigation procedures or as a mouth rinse.

Hygienist

A dental professional who specializes in education and prevention of oral disease. A hygienist partners with the dentist to assess the oral environment for signs and symptoms of periodontal disease, and is educated to provide therapeutic care in the treatment of bacterial infections within the oral environment. In some states, a dental hygienist may establish a dental hygiene diagnosis and treatment plan, administer local anesthesia and nitrous oxide/oxygen analgesia, and restore teeth with fillings.

Hyperemia

Increased blood flow that may cause dental sensitivity to temperature and sweets. May precede an abscess.

Resources

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