Your oral healthcare is a big deal. One of the best dental tips that your Houston dentist can provide you with, is understanding the terminology associated with standard oral healthcare practice. These can also help you deconstruct and understand the different professions of dentists in the industry.

Endo, the root word of Endodontist, which means “inside.”

Perio, the root word of Periodontist, which means “around.”

Odont, which means “tooth.”

Pulp, which is the nerve of your tooth.

Pulp-it is, which refers to the inflammation of your pulp, or nerves.

Osseous, which refers specifically to bone.

Osseous Surgery, which means surgery of the bone involving manipulation or replacement.

Gingiva, refers directly to your gums.

Abrasion, which refers to the wear-and-tear on your tooth/teeth.

Bonding, which refers to a tooth-colored material called a resin that is used to mend/repair broken, or otherwise damaged teeth.

Crown, which refers to the part of your tooth that is covered with enamel. It’s also the word used for replacements, or dental crowns, to be placed over damaged teeth.

Dentin, referring to the material found just beneath the enamel on your teeth.

Impacted Tooth, which refers to an improperly grown tooth. You’ll hear this most often with wisdom teeth; an impacted tooth is pressing on nerves, bone, other teeth or your gums as it tries to grow in.

Maxilla, which refers to the upper jaw.

Mandible, which refers to the lower jaw.

Plaque, which is a sticky and sometimes fuzzy film comprised of bacteria that grows on your teeth.

Tartar, which is the result of leaving plaque unchecked. It becomes hardened and difficult to clean away, requiring special tools that your Houston dentist will have.

Root Canal, which is the process of removing the pulp from a tooth to stop pain, and save a tooth. This often ends with getting a dental crown.

Sealant, which is similar to bonding. It’s another type of resin used on your back teeth to aid in preventing caries.

Veneer, which refers to a porcelain (or different material) tooth cover, often used in smile restoration and cosmetic surgery.

You’re Ready For Your Next Visit

There’s a laundry list of dental terms (some have made entire books out of them), but these are the ones you’re most likely to hear when you lean back in the chair and discuss your concerns with your Houston dentist. If you have a fear of the dentist, arming yourself with knowledge and understand can help you shake off the uneasiness, and focus on your oral healthcare the way it deserves to be.