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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!

Implant

An artificial device that replaces the tooth root and may anchor an artificial tooth, bridge or denture.

Impression

A mold made of the teeth and soft tissues.

Incision and Drainage

The surgical incision of an abscess to drain suppuration (pus).

Incisors

The four upper and lower front teeth, excluding the cuspids (canine teeth).

Infiltration

A local anesthetic procedure effective for upper teeth and soft tissue or the placement of anesthetic under the gum, allowing it to seep into bone.

Inlay

An indirect filling made by a dental laboratory that is cemented or bonded into place; or a direct placement of dental composite resin restoration at chairside.

Interocclusal

The space between upper and lower teeth.

Interproximal

The surfaces of adjoining teeth.

Intraoral Camera

A small video camera used to view and magnify oral conditions from which images may be printed.

Impaction

A partial or completely unexposed tooth that is wedged against another tooth, bone, or soft tissue, precluding the eruption process.

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