Jargon Busters


  • Abrasion

    Tooth wear caused by forces other than chewing such as holding objects between the teeth or improper brushing.

  • Abutment

    A tooth (or implant) that supports a dental prosthesis.

  • Apicoectomy

    An apicoectomy is a minor surgical procedure in which the very tip of the tooth's root is removed (“apico” – apex or end; “ectomy” – removal) and sealed.

  • Arch

    Term used to refer to an upper or lower denture.

  • Amalgam

    Single surface silver filling.

  • Abutment Crown

    Artificial crown serving for the retention or support of a dental prosthesis.

  • Artificial Crown

    Restoration covering or replacing the major part, or the whole, of the clinical crown of a tooth.

  • Anatomical Crown

    That portion of tooth normally covered by, and including, enamel.


  • Basic Cleaning

    Basic or routine cleaning for a normal amount of plaque build-up.  Preventive treatment for patients with healthy gum tissue, not intended for patients with past history of or current gum disease.  Price does not include a periodic examination, X-rays or fluoride treatment.

  • Bicuspid

    A premolar tooth; a tooth with two cusps.

  • Bilateral

    Occurring on, or pertaining to, both right and left sides.

  • Biopsy

    Process of removing tissue for histologic evaluation.

  • Bleaching

    A cosmetic dental procedure that whitens the teeth using a bleaching solution.

  • Bonding

    A composite resin applied to a tooth to change its shape and/or color. Bonding also refers to how a filling, orthodontic appliance or some fixed partial dentures are attached to teeth.


  • Composite

    Single surface composite filling (white or tooth colored) performed on a tooth in the front of the mouth.

  • Crown

    Simple crown procedure utilizing a porcelain crown fused to non-precious metal and not involving complicated prep.

  • Cementum

    Hard connective tissue covering the tooth root.

  • Cavity

    Decay in tooth caused by caries; also referred to as carious lesion.

  • Caries

    Commonly used term for tooth decay.

  • Calculus

    Hard deposit of mineralized material adhering to crowns and/or roots of teeth.