Dental Glossary

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A connecting element in cosmetic dentistry. Often, abutment teeth are the teeth to which a bridge or dentures are anchored, or, in terms of implants, are screws osseointegrated into mouth to attach the implants.

Alginic acid. Used for the creation of dental impressions, bleaching trays, and mouth guards.

The six front teeth in the mouth, consisting of the central and lateral incisors, as well as the cuspids (canines).

Short for Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis, ANUG is a common, not contagious infection in the gums that appears suddenly. It can be brought on by stress, malnourishment and poor dental hygiene. Most prevalent in young adults.

The formation of the dental arch, in description of it’s width, depth, and geometric shape. There are various arch forms: gothic, broad, narrow, and parabolic included.

A mechanical device that acts of a mock up of a human jaw, used to properly align and design artificial teeth.

A fixed dental prosthesis used to replace one or several missing teeth. A bridge permanently joins an artificial tooth to a adjacent teeth or dental implants.

A condition in which a patient grinds, gnashes, or clenches their teeth together, often unconsciously. Bruxism is often a precursor to TMD.

A diagnostic machine that produces a three-dimensional radiographic image (X-Ray) while administering a much lower dosages of radiation than a typical CAT Scan.

A muscle that contracts the skin into wrinkles; especially : one that draws the eyebrows together and wrinkles the brow in frowning.

A type of dental restoration that completely “crowns” or encircles a tooth or dental implant. Crowns are bonded to the tooth or implant using dental cement. A crown can be used when a cavity threatens the future health of a tooth.

Also known as your canines. Often, the most recognized teeth in the mouth due to their distinct size and point.

The development of teeth and their arrangement in the mouth. More specifically, it is the characteristic arrangement, kind, and number of teeth in a human’s mouth at a given time.

A removable prosthesis for missing teeth and the surrounding tissue. Dentures can either be complete, in cases where all natural teeth are replaced, or partial, where only some of the teeth are replaced.

A collagen material made of synthetic or organic materials, injected into the face as a treatment for thin limps, exaggerated contours, and excessive creases and wrinkles. Commonly encountered brands include Juvéderm and Restylane.

Essentially a cast or impression of your tooth or teeth. The dentist uses this to show you what they are going to do to improve your smile. Wax is used on stone model to reshape your teeth to their ideal form.

A gap or space between teeth, typically seen in the anterior (front) teeth, although they can occur anywhere in the mouth. Diastema is most commonly seen in the front two upper teeth.

Bridgework or dental work performed by a dentist or technician beyond the professional you are presently visiting. Existing bridgework can often make it difficult for a new dentist to begin, correct, or resume dental work, and it is advised to maintain work with one dentist.

Extraoral Photography

Click here to view an example image.

Digital photos taken of a patient’s tooth structure, arch form and smile.

A ratio of sizes seen repeatedly in nature, architecture, art, and other aesthetics. This number is used in proper cosmetic dental design. An irrational number, the number is often abbreviated at 1.61803398875.

A surgical component that combines with the bone of the jaw or skull to support a dental prosthesis such as a crown, bridge, denture, etc.

A dentist with extensive knowledge and training in the science and application of dental implants.

A negative imprint of both hard (teeth) and soft (gums) tissues in the mouth that can be used to create a positive mockup of the teeth and mouth for the creation of dental implants.

The teeth located between your essential and cuspid teeth- the third tooth in on either side, located on both the top and bottom jaws. There are four incisors in every mouth. Incisors are specialized for cutting.

Intraoral Photography

Click here to view an example image.

Photographic technique uses a special camera to take images inside the mouth for dental aesthetic treatment and patient education.

A laser is used by the Dentist to reshape and contour gums for cosmetic restorations.

A malocclusion of mandibular teeth, characterized by the overlap of the teeth in the front of the mouth as a result of external pressure or natural growth patterns.

The misalignment of the teeth, often referred to simply as “bad bite”.

The anatomic name for the lower jaw.

A muscle used for chewing, particularly plant matter, as it is located at the rear of the mouth, starting at the cheek above the upper jaw and ending at the lower jaw just before the end of the jawline. It is one of the strongest muscles controlling the movement of the mouth.

The anatomic name for the upper jaw.

A muscle that originates in the incisive fossa of the mandible, inserts in the skin of the chin, and raises the chin and pushes up the lower lip.

The shape of a tooth. Examples include square, triangulated, ovoid, and tapering.

Commonly known as “smile lines” or “laugh lines”, are facial features. They are the two skin folds that run from each side of the nose to the corners of the mouth. It is defined by facial structures that support the Buccal fat pad. They separate the cheeks from the upper lip.

Consisting of numerous strata of muscular fibers surrounding the orifice of the mouth, which controls the lips.

A dental specialty focusing on the alignment of the teeth and improper bites.

A dentist specializing in the field of orthodontics- on the alignment of the teeth and improper bites.

The structural and functional connection between existing bone, muscle, or ligament, and a prosthetic anchor. In terms of dentistry, this process is often described in terms of an implant abutment such as a screw.

Also known as mandibular prognathism. An underbite is characterized by the lower jaw protruding beyond the upper jaw. This can be caused by the malformation of the jaw or a misalignment of the teeth, and in some cases, both.

A diagnostic digital radiograph machine that takes a panoramic image of the mouth.

A symmetrical arch formed by the edges and biting surfaces of the teeth.

A dental specialty focusing on the supporting structures of the teeth and the disease that affect them.

A dentist specializing in the field of periodontics- the supporting structures of the teeth and the disease that affect them.

Angle of teeth in relation to surrounding teeth that are both adjacent and above or below.

The teeth in the mouth discounting the anterior teeth, including the premolars and molar teeth in the mouth.

A facial muscle that arises from the nasal bone and a cartilage in the side of the nose and that inserts into the skin of the forehead between the eyebrows.

A dental specialty focusing on creation, application, and installation of dental prosthetics.

A dentist specializing in the field of prosthodontics- focusing on creation, application, and installation of dental prosthetics.

A trend in the mouth in which teeth shorten, starting with the canines, heading towards the center of the mouth.

The process of removing plaque from teeth. Completed by a hygienist with a hand-held or an ultra-sonic instrument. Scaling is used to prevent or to treat gum disease.

An observed condition in which the anterior (front) point, to any degree, outwards. This condition often leads to spaces between the teeth. Splayed teeth can be caused by initial positioning, or positioning altered by contact with other teeth, external force, tongue pushing, or nail biting.

Models of a patient’s mouth that are created by taking impressions of the patient and then are poured into stone so that the dentist can study how the teeth function.

A fan-shaped muscle that runs from the side of the skull to the back of the lower jaw and is involved in closing the mouth and chewing.

An abbreviation for Temporomandibular Joint Disorders. TMD is characterized by pain or tenderness in your face, jaw joint area, neck and shoulders, and in or around the ear when you chew, speak, or open your mouth wide, jaws that get “stuck” or “lock” in the open- or closed-mouth position, and clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joint when you open or close your mouth or chew. This may or may not be painful. Grinding or clenching your teeth is a leading cause of TMD.

The shading and color of a tooth, characterized by the tooth’s degree of whiteness.

Teeth worn or naturally shaped to a point at the gum line, named for their triangular resemblance.

An overbite is characterized by the upper jaw protruding beyond the lower jaw. This can be caused by the malformation of the jaw or a misalignment of the teeth, and in some cases, both.

A malocclusion of maxillary teeth, characterized by the overlap of the teeth in the front of the mouth as a result of external pressure or natural growth patterns.

A layer of material, most commonly porcelain, placed over a tooth to improve its appearance or to protect it from further damage.

Navarro Dental Group

64 W. Main Street
East Islip, NY 11730

P: 631.650.9800
F: 631.650.7150


Office Hours

  • Mon: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
  • Tue: 9:00AM - 5:30PM
  • Wed: 9:00AM - 5:30PM
  • Thu: 9:00AM - 5:30PM
  • Fri: 9:00AM - 5:00PM
  • Sat: 9:00AM - 3:00PM
  • Sun: Closed