If you look up during your dental appointment and feel nervous because you don’t understand the dental jargon spewing from your dentist’s mouth, this post is for you. Your dentist in Framingham wants you to know common dental terms. This helps to keep open communication between patients and dentists.
Dental Terms You Need to Know
- Carries (cavities)- A dental carry is the formal way of referring to a cavity. Cavities are a hole in the hard outer layer, or enamel, of your tooth. It is caused by tooth decay. If left untreated, decay can cause infection.
- Dental crown- A dental crown covers the healthy portion of tooth enamel. These can be used to repair the structure of a tooth or the appearance of a tooth. They can be created from different materials, but most are preferred tooth-colored dental crowns.
- Dental implants-These artificial teeth replace missing teeth from root (below the gum line) to crown (visual portion of the tooth). They restore smile gaps comprised of one or more teeth or can anchor dentures and bridgework.
- Digital X-rays-Imaging your teeth and jaw bone no longer involves high radiation and developing and storing films. Today’s digital X-rays feature clear views of oral structures, instant imaging and paperless storage. Plus, radiation is negligible.
- Fluoride and plastic sealants-Both preventive treatments protect teeth from decay. Fluoride is also found in our drinking water, in quality toothpastes and in mouthwashes. Clear plastic sealants are simply painted on deeply grooved teeth, keeping bacteria and their acids out.
- Gum Disease-When it’s mild, it’s called gingivitis. When it’s advanced, it’s called periodontitis. Basically, gum disease is an infection where gum tissue bleeds, swells and pulls away from tooth surfaces. Left untreated, it leads to tooth loss, bone deterioration and systemic problems such as heart attack, stroke and osteoporosis. While researchers are not sure what the direct cause and effect mechanism is, they see inflammation as the culprit in overall health problems and gum disease.
- Root canal-More properly called root canal, or endodontic, therapy, a root canal is a long-honored procedure which removes infected pulp from inside a tooth. Used for extensive decay or injury, endodontic therapy restores a tooth to full function by relieving pain and curing dental abscess, or infection.
- Wisdom teeth –These backmost molars arrive in the teen years and frequently must be extracted, or pulled, because they infect and decay easily. Sometimes, they hamper correction with braces or are impacted, or trapped, below the gum line.
Be sure to ask your Framingham dentist any questions you have about dental terminology, especially as if it’s concerning your dental treatment plan.
About Our Office
Here at Framingham Dental, we’re dedicated to patient comfort and quality care. We want you to feel comfortable and relaxed, which is why we work to keep an open line of communication with each and every patient. If you ever have any questions, feel free to contact us.