Terms D-L

Debridement

  • The removal of a foreign material, such as calculus or plaque, or removal of necrotic (dead) tissue from or adjacent to a lesion.
  • Very commonly this term is used for a goal in nonsurgical periodontal instrumentation.

Dental Caries

(Carious Lesion)

  • Tooth decay, which is actually an infection that causes continuing destruction of tooth structure
  • A dental cavity
  • Caries is both singular and plural; one caries or two caries.
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Dentifrice

  • Toothpaste

Dentition

  • The teeth in the dental arches – top and bottom.

Diastema

  • Open contact between teeth.
  • Typically occurs between the upper front teeth, the maxillary central incisors
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Distal

  • Away from the middle; often used to describe the side of a particular tooth that is closest to the posterior or back of the mouth.
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Disto-occlusal (DO)

  • Usually refers to dental caries or a restoration located at the distal and extending onto the occlusal or chewing surface.

Edema

  • Swelling

Edentulous

  • Lacking teeth
  • Can be area specific or the whole mouth

Enamel

  • The hard, outer surface layer of teeth
  • Protects against tooth decay
  • Tooth enamel is considered the hardest mineral substance in your body, even stronger than bone.

Explorer

  • A slender, flexible instrument with a sharp point used to examine teeth for abnormalities and pathology, and to locate calculus through the use of touch.
  • Excellent tactile sensitivity must be developed to use an explorer well.
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Extraction

  • The removal of a tooth or root fragment.

Exudate

  • A fluid of epithelial cells, bacteria, serum, and other products of the inflammatory process.
  • A polite word for pus.

Facial

  • Of or toward the face, used to designate the side of the tooth that is facing away from the tongue side.
  • The buccal and labial are both facial surfaces.
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Frenum

  • A narrow fold of tissue connecting moveable tissue to a more fixed tissue to prevent undue movement.
  • Singular form is frenum or frenulum. Plural is frena
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Furcation

  • The concave area between the roots of a multi-rooted tooth.
    • It is called “bifurcation” if a tooth has two roots.
    • It is called “trifurcation” if a tooth has three roots.
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Gingiva

  • That part of the oral masticatory mucosa that surrounds the necks of the teeth and is attached to the teeth and the alveolar bone.
  • You probably know it better as the gum!

Halitosis/Oral Malodor

  • Bad breath

Iatrogenic

  • Adverse factors caused by a health care practitioner that result in a negative outcome for the patient.

Incisal

  • Toward the cutting edge of anterior teeth

Incisors

  • Anterior teeth
  • The 2 large front teeth (central incisors) and the tooth on either side (lateral incisors)
  • There are 8 incisors, 4 maxillary and 4 mandibular

Inferior

  • Below or lower than a specified point of reference

Interdental Papilla

  • Gingiva (gum tissue) that fills the space between two adjacent teeth (the space is called interproximal).
  • Papilla is usually pointed or pyramidal in anterior teeth and somewhat flatter between posterior teeth. If teeth overlap papilla, it may be tapered and narrow; if teeth do not touch, the papilla may be flat or saddle-shaped.
  • There are actually 2 papillae in teeth that contact, one facial and one lingual, which are connected by the col.
img19-interdental-papilla

Junctional Epithelium (JE)

  • Attachment epithelium, where the tooth and gingiva actually first begin to be attached.
  • Found at the very bottom of the gingival sulcus or periodontal pocket.
  • Think of it like the place in the bottom your pants pocket where you’d find loose change …or lint!

Labial

  • Of or toward the lips, used most often to designate the side of the tooth facing the lips, so the term would refer to an anterior tooth.

Lateral

  • Toward the side

Lingual

  • Of or toward the tongue, to identify the surface of a tooth that faces the tongue.
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