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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!

Mastication

The process of chewing food.

Maxilla

The upper jaw.

Molars

The three back teeth in each dental quadrant used for grinding food.

Mucogingival Junction (MGJ)

The meeting of thick, protective gingival tissue around the teeth and the mucous lining of the cheeks and lips.

Malocclusion

A ‘bad bite’ or misalignment of the upper and lower teeth.

Managed Care

A program whereby patient-dentist assignment and dentist reimbursement is administered by a separate, external organization.

Mandible

The lower jaw.

Margin

The interface between a restoration and tooth structure.

Maryland Bridge

A bridge that is bonded to the back of the adjacent teeth and requires minimum tooth reduction.

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