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
I love the people here I been coming here forever they do excellent work!!!!!
Christine F.
This has to be one of the premier dental offices in Connecticut and the staff is top flight. I recently had my teeth cleaned by one of their hygienists, Marissa, who is funny, witty, and smart, she […]
Mario L.
I’ve never really liked dentists, but Dr. Gish is the best I’ve encountered. I was so satisfied with the results of my dental work, that I won’t go to any other dentist. The office […]
Alexa F.
Josette is the only hygienist I’ve seen for the past 5+ years now and she is great! Jackie at the front desk is fantastic and has gone out of her way to help. I’ve also had work done by […]
Alana W.
I’ve been coming here for years the staff is great, they are very pleasant. Marcy does an excellent job with my cleaning I would not go anywhere else I highly recommend this office..
Johnathan I.
My favorite dentist to go to hands down the best in Ct. I always get treated with the upmost respect and the staff are all kind and professional. I love how comfortable I feel coming here and the […]
Icecream S.
Awesome staff, wonderful doctors and a high level of professionalism is the reason I’m still a client for over 20yrs. Thank you Dr Guidice for your patience and kindness. From the moment you […]
Floyd G.
In my past experiences at the dentist I’ve always felt anxious and scared to follow through with appointments… however at doctor Gish and associates I have always felt at ease and […]
Kelsey M.
The staff and doctors are very friendly and always welcoming. Its always a pleasure talking with Sonia when I call to schedule my dental appointments. Keep up the great work.
Victor F.
The entire staff at Dr Gish is great. Very professional, friendly, and knowledgeable. Their hygienist, Marissa, is the absolute best. You will not be disappointed. You will feel right at home as soon […]
Filipe C.
My experience with this office has been great. The staff is extremely friendly, the environment is comforting and the hygienists really care about their patients! Overall, I have had an excellent […]
Courtney G.
I have been going to Dr Glazman at this practice for the last few years, and I can’t recommend her enough. As a matter of fact, she is the only dentist I have ever felt that I *wanted* to […]
Laura F.
Been coming here for years after a bad dental experience. Great experience every time with my Hygienist Celine Feel wonderful every time I leave with my sparkling clean smile!!!
Summer A.
My experience was beyond excellent and I felt truly welcomed. My hygienist Marissa was extremely friendly with a bubbly personality and a beautiful smile! Super knowledgeable staff and quick to […]
Jessica R.
They greatly explain everything that is wrong with you and they work with you to make sure you get the very best treatment possible. Definitely recommend!
Wesley S.
Best dentist hands down!!! The office staff is extremely friendly and helpful. My whole family uses this dentist. We have been using for 3 years since we relocated from Chicago and are so happy to […]
Mark M.
Dr. GUIDICE IS A GREAT DOCTOR! I WOULD RECOMMEND HIM TO ANY ONE
NYY N.
They are very professional and they do great work
Denise R.
Front desk is absolutely amazing, I felt welcomed from the moment I walked through the door. There was no waiting, I was seen at my appt time. Highly recommended, I will continue coming here. Dr and […]
Kiana A.
The best dental experiences in my long history of fillings, caps, broken teeth, etc. Dr. Glazman is incredibly gentle, and her sunny disposition always makes me smile even if my lips are fat from […]
Bob H.
Find a Location
Near You
Healthcare Financing with
CareCredit
We Accept Most Insurance Plans!
Learn More

We accept most insurance plans and will be happy to help you understand the coverage that you have. We will do our best to see that you receive your maximum insurance benefits for all covered services.

Office Hours
    Get in touch:
    • Phone: (000) 000-0000