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GLOSSARY
  • abcess (Dentistry)
    an infection of a tooth, soft tissue, or bone.
  • Abrasion (Dentistry)
    Abrasion is the wearing away of tooth enamel by a foreign object. Common causes of abrasion are: Brushing too hard or too long, fingernail biting, chewing on pens or pencils, oral jewelry as expamples.
  • Abscesses (Dentistry)
    An abscessed tooth is usually sensitive or painful. the discomfort is what normally alerts the patient to the problem. Abscesses may be detected on x-ray and treated before the patient experiences any discomfort. Left untreated, an abscess may compromise the immune system and in some cases may become life-threatenting.
  • abutment (Dentistry)
    tooth or teeth on either side of a missing tooth that support a fixed or removable bridge.
  • air abrasion/micro abrasion (Dentistry)
    a drill-free technique that blasts the tooth surface with air and an abrasive. (This is a relatively new technology that may avoid the need for an anesthetic and can be used to remove tooth decay, old composite restorations and superficial stains and discolorations, and prepare a tooth surface for bonding or sealants.)
  • amalgam (Dentistry)
    a common filling material used to repair cavitives. The material, also know as "silver filings," contains mercury in combination with silver, tin, copper, and sometime zinc.
  • apex (Dentistry)
    the tip of the root of a tooth.
  • Attrition (Dentistry)
    The gradual loss of enamel through "wear". A small amount of attrition may be caused by normal speaking and eating, but this typically doesn't produce excessive wear.
  • Baby Bottle Syndrome (Dentistry)
    Baby Bottle Syndrome is the rapid decay of baby teeth in an infant or child that frequent exposure, for long periods of time, to liquids containing sugars. The upper front teeth are not affected.
  • bicuspid (Dentistry)
    the fourth and fifth teeth from the center of the mought to the back of the mouth. These are the teeth that are used for chewing: they only have two points (cusps). Adults have eight bicuspids (also called premolars), two in front of each group of molars.
  • bite (Dentistry)
    relationship of the upper and lower teeth upon closure.
  • bleaching (Dentistry)
    chemical or laser treatment of natural teeth that uses peroxide to produce the whitening effect.
  • Bleeding Gums (Dentistry)
    Bleeding gums are a sign of infection. Healthy gums do not bleed. Brush and floss the area well.
  • bonding (Dentistry)
    the covering of a tooth surface with a tooth-colored composite to repair and/or change the color or shape of a tooth, for instance, due to stain or damage.
  • braces (Dentistry)
    devices (bands, wires, ceramic appliances) put in place by orthodontists to gradually reposition teeth to more favorable alignment.
  • bridge (Dentistry)
    stationary dental prosthesis (appliance) fixed to teeth adjacent to a space: replaces one or more missing teeth, cemented or bonded to supporting teeth or implants adjacent to the space.(fixed partial denture)
  • bruxism (Dentistry)
    grinding or gnashing of the teeth, most commonly during sleep.
  • cap (Dentistry)
    common term for a dental crown.
  • Cavities (Dentistry)
    Tooth decay begins when the protein of your saliva combines with the sugars and carbohydrates of food particles left on and between your teeth. This combination creates bacteria-laden plaque, from which acid is produced that eats away at the hard enamel shell around your tooth. Left unchecked, a hole will be created in the enamel and a cavity will rapidly form in the softer dentin which lies under the enamel.
  • cavity (Dentistry)
    a hole in the tooth caused by advance decay.
  • cementum (Dentistry)
    the layer of tooth material that covers the root.
  • cleaning (Dentistry)
    removal of plaque and calculus (tarter) from teeth, generally above the gum line.
  • composite resin filling (Dentistry)
    tooth-colored restorative material composed of plastic within small glass or ceramic particles: usually "cured" or hardened with filtered light or chemical catalyst. An alternative to silver amalgam fillings.
  • Cosmetic Dentist (Dentistry)
    Cosmetic dentistry enhances the aesthetics of a patient's smile. The procedure modifies the oral cavity and surrounding jaw to fit a desired image. The most common procedure is whitening or teeth bleaching, although other common procedures are enamel shaping (removal of tooth enamel), bonding (dental composites for chipped or cracked teeth), veneers (thin device that closes gaps between teeth or fixing discolorations), and gum lifts (the process of reconfiguring gum lines).
  • Cracked Tooth (Dentistry)
    When a tooth is cracked, a filling may not seal the crack. A crown may have to be placed over the tooth to hold it and the crack together. If the crack is not restored, the tooth will become sensitive to chewing pressure, or will eventaully break.
  • crown (Dentistry)
    the portion of a tooth above the gum line that is covered by enamel: (2) dental restoration covering all or most of the natural tooth: the artificial cap can be made of porcelain, composite, or metal and is cemented on top of the damages tooth.
  • decay (Dentistry)
    destruction of tooth structure caused by toxins produced by bacteria.
  • dental implant (Dentistry)
    a metal post inserted into the alveolar bone to support an artificial tooth or other prosthesis.
  • Dentistry (Dentistry)
    The health of your teeth can impact your overall health. Did you know that gum disease has been linked to heart disease, stroke, and diabetes? With nearly a third of Americans susceptible to gum disease, dental health is key to well-being. While daily dental hygiene is imperative, preventive care is just as crucial.
  • denture (Dentistry)
    a removable replacement of artificial teeth for missing natural teeth and surrounding tissues. Two types of dentures are available-complete and partial.
  • dry socket (Dentistry)
    a common complication that occurs when either a blood clot has failed to form in an extracted tooth socket or else the blood clot that did form had been dislodged.
  • enamel (Dentistry)
    the hard outside layer of tooth material.
  • Endodontics (Dentistry)
    Endodontics is another name for root canal therapy. Inside each tooth is a thread (the pulp) which provides nutrients and nerves to the tooth. When the pulp is diseased or injured, the pulp tissue dies. If you don't remove it, your tooth gets infected and you could lose it. After the dentist removes the pulp, the root canal is cleaned and sealed off to protect it. Then your dentist places a crown over the tooth to help make it stronger. (Source: ADA)
  • Erosion (Dentistry)
    It is the chemical wear of tooth enamel. Typically this kind of wear is caused by acid. Citric acid is one of the most common agents. Citric fruits, soft drinks, citrus juices and candies. Coffee and tea also contain corrosive acids.
  • extraction (Dentistry)
    removal of a tooth.
  • Fillings (Dentistry)
    Fillings are the most common restorative procedure. After decay is removed from a tooth, something must be placed in that space to give strength back to the tooth.
  • flossing (Dentistry)
    a thread-like material used to clean between the contact areas of teeth: part of a good daily oral hygiene plan.
  • fluoride (Dentistry)
    a mineral that helps strengthen teeth enamel making teeth less susceptible to decay. Fluoride is ingested through food or water, is available in most toothpastes, or can be applied as a gel or liquid to the surface of teeth by a dentist.
  • Gingivitis (Dentistry)
    The bacteria in the plaque leads to an infection in the gums (gingiva) called Gingivitis.
  • Grinding Teeth (Dentistry)
    Grinding of teeth, also know as Bruxism, occurs in children as well as adults. Grinding of the teeth generally occurs during sleep.
  • hygienist (Dentistry)
    a licensed, auxiliary dental professional who is both an oral health educator and a clinician who uses preventive, therapeutic, and educational methods to control oral disease.
  • impacted tooth (Dentistry)
    a tooth that is partially or completely blocked from erupting through the surface of the gum. An impacted tooth may push other teeth together or damage the bony structures supporting the adjacent tooth. Often times, impacted teeth must be surgically removed.
  • Implants (Dentistry)
    Dental Implants have been used successfully for many years. The implant itself is a post that is surgically placed in the jaw by a Periodontist or Oral Surgeon. They are an artificial root for a single tooth replacement or an anchor for a fixed or removable prosthesis to replace multiple teeth.
  • impression (Dentistry)
    mold made of the teeth and soft tissues.
  • inlay (Dentistry)
    similar to a filling but the entire work lies within the cusps (bumps) on the chewing surface of the tooth.
  • nerve (Dentistry)
    tissue that conveys sensation, temperature, and position information to the brain.
  • night guard (Dentistry)
    a removable acrylic appliance that fits over the upper and lower teeth used to prevent wear and temporomandibular damage caused by grinding or gnashing of the teeth during sleep.
  • nitrous oxide (Dentistry)
    a gas (also called laughing gas) used to reduce patient anxiety.
  • onlay (Dentistry)
    a type of restoration (filling) made of metal, porcelain, or acrylic that is more extensive that an inlay in that it covers one or more cusps. Onlays are sometimes called partial crowns.
  • oral cavity (Dentistry)
    the mouth.
  • oral hygiene (Dentistry)
    process of maintaining cleanliness of the teeth and related structures.
  • oral surgeon (Dentistry)
    the oral health care provider who performs many types of surgical procedures in and around the entire face, mouth, and jaw area.
  • Oral/Maxillofacial Surgery (Dentistry)
    Oral and Maxillofacial surgery corrects injuries and defects in the neck, face, jaws and the hard and soft tissues of the oral and facial region. Maxillofacial surgeons have usually qualified initially in dentistry, and then undergone further surgical training.
  • orthodontics (Dentistry)
    dental specialty that using braces, retainers, and other dental devices to treat misalignment of teeth, restoring them to proper functioning.
  • palate (Dentistry)
    the tissue that make up the roof of the mouth.
  • palate (Dentistry)
    hard and soft tissue forming the roof of the mouth.
  • periodontal disease (Dentistry)
    diseases, including gingivitis and periodontal, that attack the gum tissue and the structures supporting the teeth.
  • Periodontics (Dentistry)
    Periodontic treatments keep healthy the tissues that support your teeth. Periodontal diseases attack just below the gum line, where they cause the attachment of the tooth and its supporting tissues to break down. The two major stages of periodontal disease are gingivitis and periodontitis. Gingivitis is a milder and reversible form that only affects the gums, but it may lead to more serious, destructive forms called periodontitis(Source: ADA).
  • post (Dentistry)
    thin metal rod inserted into the root of a tooth after root canal therapy: provides retention for a capping that replaces lost tooth structure.
  • prophlaxis (Dentistry)
    the cleaning of the teeth for the prevention of periodontal disease and tooth decay.
  • restorations (Dentistry)
    any replacement for lost tooth structure or teeth: for example, bridges, dentures, fillings, crowns, and implants.
  • root (Dentistry)
    the portion of the tooth below the gum line.
  • root canal (Dentistry)
    a channel in the root of the tooth that contains the pulp.
  • root canal therapy (Dentistry)
    procedure used to save an abscessed tooth in which the pulp chamber is cleaned out, disinfected, and filled with a permanent filling.
  • Sealants (Dentistry)
    Sealants are a white or tooth shaded material that is bonded to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth, sealing off deep groves and pits. This makes the grooves of the teeth smoother so your toothbrush can more easily keep the tooth clean.
  • Sedation Dentistry (Dentistry)
    Sedation Dentistry is able to reach out and provide needed dental care to those who otherwise would not receive it. Sedation Dentistry is useful for adult patients who have high anxiety, a past traumatic dental experience, difficulty getting numb, strong gag reflux, have TMJ,and afraid of needles as examples.
  • Sensitivity (Dentistry)
    Teeth can be sensitive for many reasons: decay, abscess, cracked tooth, grinding, sweets, whitening and a toothache for examples.
  • tartar (Dentistry)
    common term for dental calculus, a hard deposit that adheres to teeth: produces rough surface that attracts plaque.
  • TMJ (Dentistry)
    TMJ is the name commonly used to refer to pain or dysfunction of the jaw (the Temporomandibular joint). The same disorder is also abbreviated as TMD (Temporomandibular joint disorder). The terms are used to refer to a group of problems involving the TMJs and the muscles, tendons, ligaments, blood vessles, and other tissues associated with them. Some practitioners might include the neck, the back and even the whole body in describing problems with the TMJs.
  • Tooth Discoloration (Dentistry)
    Teeth can become discolored for different reasons: drinking coffee, tea, or colas, some antibiotics with children, use of tobacco products, tooth has been traumatized, after a root canal therapy for examples.
  • veneer (Dentistry)
    a thin, custom-made shell of tooth-colored plastic or porcelain that is bonded, directly to the front side of natural teeth to improve their appearance for example, to replace lost tooth structure, close spaces, straighten teeth, or change color and/or shape.
  • Whitening (Dentistry)
    Teeth Whitening is actually a mild bleaching process that restores stained or discolored teeth to a healthy, natural color. Over the counter whitening solutions are less effective as advanced procedures available from your dentist.
  • wisdom teeth (Dentistry)
    third (last) molars that usually erupt at age 18-25.
  • X-rays (Dentistry)
    high frequency light or radiation that penetrates different substances with different rates and absorption. There are four types of X-rays: periapical, bite-wing, occlusal, and panoramic.

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Version 1.0.2 (Morpheus-517) -- 30.November.2009