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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!

Topical Anesthetic

An ointment that produces mild anesthesia when applied to the tissue surface.

Torus

Common bony protuberance on the palate or lower jaw.

Transplant

The process of placing a natural tooth in the empty socket of another tooth.

Trauma

Injury caused by external forces, chemical or temperature extremes, or poor tooth alignment.

Trench Mouth

Gum disease characterized by severe mouth sores and loss of tissue. See definition for ANUG.

Tartar

A common term for dental calculus, a hard deposit that adheres to teeth and produces a rough surface that attracts plaque.

Third-Party Provider

An insurance company, union or government agency that pays all or a part of cost of dental treatment.

TMD (or TMJ Disorder)

Temperomandibular disorder, the term given to the condition characterized by facial pain and restricted ability to open or move the jaw.

TMJ

The temporomandibular joint where the lower jaw attaches to the skull.

Tooth Bud

The early embryonic structure that becomes a tooth.

Resources

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