Here are five dental terms that you might hear on a fairly regular basis but wonder what they specifically mean or what they may specifically entail. For instance, when your dentist tells you you have “impacted wisdom teeth”, what does that mean and why is it important?
impacted tooth: 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.
How about when you’re told you need a filling and you’re going to get a “composite” filling?
composite resin filling: tooth-colored restorative material composed of plastic with small glass or ceramic particles; usually “cured” or hardened with filtered light or chemical catalyst. An alternative to silver amalgam fillings.
So instead of silver amalgam, we’re able to make it seem you have no filling at all by using a material that closely matches your tooth color.
Have you ever been told you need to see an “endodontist”. What exactly is an endodontist?
endodontist: a dental specialist concerned with the causes, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and injuries of the human dental pulp or the nerve of the tooth.
So if, for instance, you have a tooth that has cracked to the root and you are having pretty severe sensitivity problems, an endodontist is the dentist which would preform a root canal and save the tooth while also solving the sensitivity problem.
You often get advice from us to use dental products that contain flouride. But why is flouride so important?
fluoride: 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.
And finally, we’ll bet you’ve heard of TMJ and know we treat TMJ but wondered what it is, specifically:
temporomandibular disorder (TMD)/temporomandibular joint (TMJ): the term given to a problem that concerns the muscles and joint that connect the lower jaw with the skull. The condition is characterized by facial pain and restricted ability to open or move the jaw. It is often accompanied by a clicking or popping sound when the jaw is opened or closed.
We’ll talk about some other dental terms in the near future, but we hope these 5 will help you better understand some of the terms the profession uses and why they’re important.
Call us with any questions. We’d love to hear from you.