Dental Jargon Explained
Amalgam = Metal Filling: a common filling material used to repair cavities. The material, sometimes called ‘silver fillings,’ contains mercury, silver, tin, copper and sometimes zinc.
Composite = White Filling: a tooth-coloured material made up of plastic and glass or ceramic, which is usually hardened with filtered light or with chemicals catalyst. These are used as an alternative to silver amalgam fillings and usually look more like your natural teeth.
Endodontics =Root Canal Filling: a procedure used to save a tooth with an abscess. What is called the pulp chamber (where the nerve lives) is disinfected, cleaned and sealed with a permanent filling.
Fibre Reinforcement = FRC: a white filling, bridge, crown or veneer which has been strengthened by incorporating special fibres. The fibres make the material more wear-resistant as well as binding the whole thing together. They are also used to create a framework upon which a new tooth can be sculpted.
Gingivitis or Periodontal Disease: inflamed, swollen and reddish gums that bleed easily when touched or brushed. It is the start of possible periodontal disease, when the infection spreads down the root of the tooth, and tooth loss. This is usually reversible with good oral hygiene.
Impacted tooth: a tooth that is partially or completely blocked from breaking through the gum as it grows. An impacted tooth may push other teeth together.
Oral and maxillofacial surgery: surgical procedures on the mouth including extractions, removal of cysts or tumours, and repair of fractured jaws.
Orthodontics: a dental field that uses devices such as braces and retainers to straighten misaligned or crooked teeth.
Plaque/Scale/Tartar: a build-up of food particles, saliva and bacteria that forms on the teeth. Plaque left alone eventually turns in to tartar and causes disease of the mouth.
Root canal therapy: a procedure used to save a tooth with an abscess. What is called the pulp chamber (where the nerve lives) is cleaned and sealed with a permanent filling.