Huntington Family Dental Group
534 Shelton Ave, Shelton, CT 06484

Glossary of Dental Terms

A

Amalgam – Material made from mercury and other alloy mixtures used to restore a drilled portion of a tooth.
Anesthesia – Medications used to relieve pain.
Anterior teeth – Front teeth. Also called incisors and cuspids.
Arch – The upper or lower jaw.

B

Baby bottle tooth decay – Caused by sugary substances in breast milk and some juices, which combine with saliva to form pools inside the baby?s mouth.
Bicuspids – Back teeth used for chewing.
Bitewings – X-rays that help a dentist diagnose cavities.
Bonding – Application of tooth-colored resin materials to the surface of the teeth.
Bridge – A fixed or removable appliance that replaces lost teeth.
Bruxism – Teeth grinding.

C

Calculus – A sticky substance (also called tartar) that has hardened.
Canal – The narrow chamber inside the tooth?s root.
Canines – Also called cuspids.
Canker sore – One that occurs on the delicate tissues inside your mouth. A canker sore is usually light-colored at its base and can have a red exterior border.
Caries – Another term for decay, which causes cavities.
Cold sore – Usually occurs on the outside of the mouth, usually on or near the nose or lips. A cold sore is contagious because it is caused by the herpes simplex virus, and it is usually painful and filled with fluid.
Composite filling – Tooth colored restorations, also known as resin fillings.
Composite resin – A tooth-colored resin combined with silica or porcelain and used as a restoration material.
Contouring – The process of reshaping teeth.
Crown – An artificial cover that is placed on the top of a tooth following restoration.
Cusps – The pointed parts on top of the back teeth?s chewing surface.
Cuspids – Front teeth that typically have a protruding edge.

D

Dentin – The tooth layer underneath the enamel.
Denture – A removable set of teeth.

E

Endodontics – A form of dentistry that addresses problems affecting the tooth?s root or nerve.

F

Fluoride – A naturally occurring substance added to water, toothpastes and some rinses and used for strengthening the tooth?s enamel.
Fluorosis – A harmless over-exposure to fluoride and resulting sometimes in tooth discoloration.

G

Gingiva – Another word for gum tissue.
Gingivitis – A minor disease of the gums caused by plaque.
Gum disease – An infection of the gum tissues. Also called periodontal disease.

I

Impacted teeth – A condition in which a tooth fails to erupt or only partially erupts.
Implant – A permanent appliance used to replace a missing tooth.
Incisor – Front teeth with cutting edges; located in the center or on the sides near the front.
Inlay – An artificial filling made of various materials, including porcelain, resin, or gold.

L

Laminate veneer – A shell that is bonded to the enamel of a front tooth. The shell is usually thin and made from porcelain resin.
Laser – Light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. A single wavelength beam of highly concentrated energy.

M

Malocclusion – Bad bite relationship.
Mandible – The lower jaw.
Maxilla – The upper jaw.
Molar – Usually the largest teeth, near the rear of the mouth. Molars have large chewing surfaces.

N

Neuromuscular Dentistry – are more than the aches and pains felt in around the neck and head that are associated with your teeth and jaw.

O

Onlay – A filling designed to protect the chewing surface of a tooth.
Orthodontics – A field of dentistry that deals with tooth and jaw alignment.
Overdenture – A non-fixed dental appliance applied to a small number of natural teeth or implants.

P

Palate – Roof of the mouth.
Partial denture – A removable appliance that replaces teeth. Also called a bridge.
Pedodontics – A field of dentistry that deals with children?s teeth.
Perio pocket – An opening formed by receding gums.
Periodontal disease – Infection of the gum tissues. Also called gum disease.
Periodontist – A dentist who treats diseases of the gums.
Permanent teeth – The teeth that erupt after primary teeth. Also called adult teeth.
Plaque – A sticky, colorless substance that covers the teeth after sleep or periods between brushing.
Posterior teeth – The bicuspids and molars. Also called the back teeth.
Primary teeth – A person?s first set of teeth. Also called baby teeth or temporary teeth.
Prophylaxis – The act of cleaning the teeth.
Prosthodontics – The field of dentistry that deals with artificial dental appliances.
Pulp – The inner tissues of the tooth containing blood, nerves and connective tissue.

R

Receding gum – A condition in which the gums separate from the tooth, allowing bacteria and other substances to attack the tooth?s enamel and surrounding bone.
Resin filling – An artificial filling used to restore teeth. Also called a composite filling.
Root canal – A procedure in which a tooth?s nerve is removed and an inner canal cleansed and later filled.
Root planing – Scraping or cleansing of teeth to remove heavy buildup of tartar below the gum line.

S

Sealant – A synthetic material placed on the tooth?s surface that protects the enamel and chewing surfaces.

T

TMJ – Temporomandibular joint disorder. Health problems related to the jaw joint just in front of the ear.
Tarter – A hardened substance (also called calculus) that sticks to the tooth?s surface.

V

Veneer – A laminate applied or bonded to the tooth.

W

Whitening – A process that employs special bleaching agents for restoring the color of teeth.
Wisdom tooth – Third set of molars that erupt last in adolescence.

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
Dr Sal is the best! Always a good experience and great results. Dental hygienist Laura was awesome, too.
Sanna-Maria J.
Very pleasant and professional experience. (My review of a previous visit that was more negative now appears to have been an isolated personnel issue.)
Herb S.
I enjoy coming in for all my work. The people are great and the care is wonderful.
George G.
Service was great! Everyone’s super nice and helpful!
Stephanie J.
What a GREAT dentist office. The best staff you could ask for!! They always have the latest and greatest technology!! I have been coming here for about 7 years now – and I love it! It’s pretty […]
Mark T.
Dr Bethany, Laura, and Liz are awesome!
Zachary T.
We have been patients at Huntington Family Dental for a long time. The doctors are very skilled and highly credentialed and attentive to their patients by delivering excellent care. The staff is […]
Diane C.
Very professional, very friendly and i would recommend to anyone i see! Very through.
Judith C.
Entirely pleasant and painless `removal’ for a crown. I deeply appreciated Dr. Sal’s check-up call around dinner time the same day, to see how I was doing. That was particularly thoughtful, […]
Diane J.
Wonderful care and concern, best dentist skills there are. They make going to the dentist pleasant!!Thank you
Charlotte N.
My overall experience was nothing but positive. Your staff is kind and caring.
Anonymous
Seen on time, pleasant, knowledgeable hygienist. Questions asked were answered completely. All staff are courteous and friendly.
Anonymous
Had a great experience at Huntington Family Dental! They were efficient, professional and very flexible with my busy work schedule. The dentists and hygienists really made an effort to make me feel […]
Maureen K.
Best dentist office ever – I have never enjoyed and appreciated a dentist’s office before this. All staff is friendly and professional. I highly recommend!
David F.
Maria was very professional and though. I always enjoy seeing her for my quarterly cleaning.
Russell M.
As usual, I was happy to be greeted by the friendly staff when I arrived for my cleaning/check up. I have been going to this group for years and wouldn’t think of going anywhere else! I have also […]
Judith T.
I always have a good experience @ Huntington Family Dental Group! My family and I have been going so there so long there are always many familiar smiling faces. Diane, my hygienist is a doll. Always […]
Janice S.
I have been a patient of Dr. Sal for over 35 years! He is terrific, always puts me at ease and works with my other physical issues to make me comfortable. All staff from my hygienist (Alisha), to […]
Debra B.
Good experience they hygienist was excellent!
Linda H.
As always. Excellent.
Natalie S.
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Fri. – 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
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