L-O

labial – Surfaces towards the lips.

lingual – Surfaces that are towards the tongue.

mandibular teeth – The bottom teeth.

maxillary teeth – The top teeth.

mesial – Surfaces of the tooth that are toward the midline of the face.

midline – The imaginary line that goes vertically down the middle of the face between the two central incisors.

molars – The most posterior teeth that are responsible for grinding food. In the permanent dentition, there are 12 molars (three in each quadrant). The primary dentition has 8 molars (two in each quadrant).

monofluorophosphate – A type of fluoride that in used in some toothpastes.

neutral sodium fluoride – A type of fluoride that is used in many dental offices to prevent decay. It has a neutral pH and, unlike APF, can be used on patients that have glass ionomer, or other restorations that contain glass, without harm to the restorations.

non-surgical therapy (periodontal) – Periodontal scaling and root planing, and sometimes includes antimicrobial therapy.

occlusal surfaces – The chewing surfaces of the posterior teeth.

occlusion – The relationship between the maxillary and mandibular teeth when they bite together.

oral and maxillofacial pathology – The recognized dental specialty that involves pathological problems in the oral cavity. These specialists are known as Oral Pathologists and have at least three years of education beyond dental school in the area of oral pathology.

oral and maxillofacial radiology – The recognized dental specialty that involves radiology and diagnosis using radiographic procedures. These specialists are known as Oral Radiologists and have at least three years of education in oral and maxillofacial radiology beyond dental school.

oral cancer – Cancer found in the oral cavity and/or the surrounding and supporting structures.

oral cancer screening – The method employed by dentists and dental hygienists to observe and palpate areas within and around the mouth, face, head and neck to look for any abnormalities that might lead to cancer or any other disease entities.

oral maxillofacial surgery – The recognized dental specialty that involves surgery of the head, neck and mouth. These specialists are known as Oral Surgeons and have at least three years of addition education beyond dental school.

oral prophylaxis – Cleaning teeth, which includes scaling and polishing teeth. This procedure can only be done by the dentist or the dental hygienist in the dental office.

oral screening – Term often used to designate a brief examination of the teeth and their surrounding structures to determine if there is disease or carious lesions present.

orthodontics and dentofacial orthopedics – The recognized dental specialty that involves diagnosis and treatment of mal-aligned teeth and treatment of deformities of the mouth and face. These specialists are known as Orthodontists and have at least three years of education beyond dental school.