Dental Glossary

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Ever wondered what is going on when you visit the dentist? What are the appliances that they’re using to poke around in your mouth and what are they for? What are the complicated names all about and what do they mean? Look no further, as we’ve put together a glossary of dental terms that will simplify this for you….

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Apex – Bottom end or tip of a tooth’s root

Appliance – Synonym braces or anything attached or detached from your teeth by your orthodontist.

Arch wire – wire attached to brackets to move your teeth to an alternative position.

Band – metal ring that is placed on your back teeth, helping attach brackets.

Bracket – This holds the arch wire, connected to all brackets in the arch – made of either gold, metal or ceramic.

Bruxism – Grinding of teeth.

Calculus (tartar) – A hard layer that builds up on your teeth if you fail to brush properly and neglect your teeth. Overtime this turns to plaque.

Cast – Model of a patient’s teeth and dental arch for your orthodontist to study.

Cementum – Refers to the hard layer of tissue that covers the root of the tooth.

Decalcification – lack of calcium in your teeth resulting in marks on your enamel (the protective coating on your teeth).

Gingivitis – Gum disease.

Gingivae – synonym for your gums.

Labial appliances – brace that are placed on the front of teeth.

Lingual appliances – appliances placed (invisibly) behind the teeth.

Orthognathic surgery – surgery where your jaw is broken to improve your bite.

Periodontics – dental specialty focusing on gums.

Plaque – damaging layer on your teeth.

Radiograph – synonym for X Ray but in the context of oral hygiene and teeth.

Retainer – an appliance worn after orthodontic treatment has been performed.

Traction – carefully pushing teeth to help them move.

Wax – In this content, stops braces from rubbing inside the mouth.