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Amalgam
Lay term: Silver filling
Definition: An alloy of metals which includes mercury; generally used to “fill” cavities.
Usage: Amalgam can be used to fill cavities in the back teeth.

Anesthesia
Definition: The loss of sensation, especially loss of tactile sensitivity with or without loss of consciousness.
Usage: An injectable local anesthetic may be administered to patients who are undergoing treatment, such as filling cavities, preparing teeth for crowns, or treating periodontal disease, to reduce the sensation of pain.

Anterior Teeth
Lay term: Front teeth
Definition: The six front teeth of either arch; the central and lateral incisors and the cuspids.
Usage: When brushing behind the lower anterior teeth, using the toe or tip of the toothbrush allows better access than using the whole brush.

Baseline
Definition: Values at the beginning of a study before any treatment has started.
Usage: The ADA acceptance program calls for the clinical efficacy data for a powered toothbrush to show a 15% statistically significant reduction versus baseline in gingivitis as well as a statistically significant reduction in plaque.

Bicuspid
Alternate term: Premolar
Definition: A tooth having two cusps or rounded parts.
Usage: Plaque can accumulate between the two points on a bicuspid tooth.

Bleaching
Alternate term: Tooth whitening
Definition: A process in which tooth-bleaching chemicals are applied to the surface of the teeth resulting in a lighter tooth color.
Usage: Bleaching may whiten teeth, but it does not prevent future staining.

Bridge
Definition: A fixed replacement for missing teeth comprised of a false tooth or teeth in between two crowns.
Usage:
Natural teeth or implants support a dental bridge.

Buccal
Alternate term: Facial
Definition: The outer surfaces of premolars and molars (posterior teeth) facing towards the cheek; pertaining to the cheeks.
Usage: The buccal surfaces of the premolars and molars are closest to the cheeks.