administrator, practice – One who manages the staff of a practice.
apex, apical – The very tip of a tooth’s root.
arch – Pertaining to the upper (maxillary) or lower (mandibular) jaw.
bicuspid/premolar – The teeth located between the canines/cuspids and the first molars in each quadrant; only found in the permanent dentition.
canine/cuspid – A tooth with one cusp located between the lateral incisors and first premolars in each quadrant.
caries – An infectious disease caused by bacteria in dental plaque that destroys tooth structures; also known as tooth decay or dental cavities.
carious lesion – An area of decay on a tooth.
cavity – A hole or decay lesion in a tooth.
cementum – The tissue covering the root of a tooth.
central incisor – Two front teeth on both upper and lower jaws.
cingulum – A smooth, rounded bump on the cervical third of the lingual surface of anterior teeth.
clinical record – The patient record that includes all services rendered, treatment notes, treatment correspondence and medical and dental histories.
current dental terminology (CDT) – A list of descriptive terms and identifying codes developed by the ADA for reporting dental services and procedures to dental benefit plans.
cusp – Elevation or mound on the biting surface of a tooth.
custom software – Applications software that is developed by the user or at the user’s request.
database management – Computer software application used for organizing, entering, storing, and retrieving information in formats and orders specified by the user.
deciduous (primary) teeth – The first set of teeth; also known as milk teeth.
dental charting – The documentation of existing restorations and conditions of the oral cavity.
dentin – The tissue of a tooth that comprises the main inner portion of the tooth; it is covered by cementum on the root and enamel on the crown.
dentition – Set of teeth; the natural teeth in position in the dental arches.
denture – A removable prosthesis that replaces two or more teeth in an arch; may replace all teeth.
distal – The proximal surface of a tooth that is away from the midline.
downloading – Transferring information received over a communications network to a software program so that it can be printed out or processed at an individual workstation.
electronic calendar/calendaring software – A computerized system for recording appointments, setting up meetings and scheduling other daily, weekly or monthly activities.
enamel – Substance that covers the anatomic crown of a tooth to protect the dentin; the hardest substance in the body.
facial – The surface of a tooth that faces the lips or cheeks; includes the labial and buccal surfaces.
factitious – Produced by humans rather than natural forces.
HIPAA – The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act requires that the transactions of all patient healthcare information be formatted in a standardized electronic style. In addition to protecting the privacy and security of patient information, HIPAA includes legislation on the formation of medical savings accounts, the authorization of a fraud and abuse control programs, the easy transport of health insurance coverage and the simplification of administrative terms and conditions.
incipient caries – Beginning caries that has not yet broken through the enamel into the dentin.
incisal – Cutting or biting edge of anterior teeth.
interproximal – Between the proximal surfaces of adjacent teeth.
labial – The surface of anterior teeth facing the lips.
lateral – To the side; toward the outside or away from the midline.
lateral incisor – Tooth distal to the central incisor in each quadrant; there are four lateral incisors present in the permanent and primary dentitions.
lingual – The surface of a tooth that faces the tongue.
malocclusion – Any deviation from normal occlusion; may involve one tooth, several teeth or an entire arch.
mandibular – Pertaining to the lower jaw.
mastication – The act of chewing.
maxillary – Pertaining to the upper arch.
mesial – The surface of a tooth that faces the midline.
midline – An imaginary vertical plane that divides the body into equal right and left halves.
numbering, International Standards Organization/Fédération Dentaire Internationale – A two-digit system of designating teeth for the permanent and primary dentitions. The first digit denotes the quadrant; the second digit denotes the tooth number.
numbering, Palmer – Numbering system in which the mouth is divided into quadrants and the teeth are assigned a number from 1-8 beginning with the central incisor in the permanent dentition.
numbering, Universal – Numbering system where teeth are assigned a number from 1-32 beginning with the maxillary right third molar in the permanent dentition.
occlusal – The biting surface of a posterior tooth.
occlusion – The contact between the maxillary and mandibular teeth in any functional relationship.
overbite – Excessive vertical overlapping of the maxillary incisors over the mandibular incisors.
overjet – Excessive horizontal overlapping of the maxillary incisors over the mandibular incisors.
PHI – acronym associated with privacy; stands for protected health information.
proximal – The surface of a tooth that is adjacent to another tooth; the distal or mesial surface.
quadrant – One-fourth of the mouth; half of the maxillary or mandibular arch.
succedaneous – Permanent teeth that replace primary teeth.
tooth, eye – Layman term for canine/cuspid.
tooth, wisdom – Layman term for third molar.