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Click on a letter to be taken to that section of a Dental Dictionary, where you will find helpful terms and definitions. For more information or to make a reservation with  Dr. Brenda L. Halsey, DDS , please use our 24/7 service or call our office: 1200 Gold Hill Road, Fort Mill, SC 29708  Phone Number  (803) 396-0000

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Also known as bicuspids, are the permanent teeth located between your molars and canine teeth.


The branch of dentistry that aims to treat bite abnormalities including teeth misalignment and overcrowding.

Wisdom tooth

The two rear-most molars in both sides of the upper and lower jaw.


A thin, custom-made and tooth-colored shell designed to cover the entire surface of a tooth to improve the aesthetic of the teeth.


A pocket of pus caused by bacterial infection that can form inside the teeth or in the bone that holds the teeth in place.


A combination of alloy with other metal such as silver or gold that has been the most popular and effective filling material over the years.


This refers to the incisors and canines or the front teeth.


The condition of being free from microorganisms that causes diseases.


A dental radiograph that shows the maxillary and mandibular crowns of the teeth while providing a clear image of the interproximal surface of the teeth. This also allows the detection of interproximal caries on the teeth.


A dental restorative treatment that replaces one or more missing teeth that literally “bridges” the gap between teeth.

Canker sore

A small white or yellow mouth ulcer that causes pain and discomfort when talking or eating.


The slightly pointed teeth beside the incisor that aids in biting and speaking.


The scientific term for tooth decay, which is a major dental problem especially for kids caused by improper oral hygiene.


The process that ensures retention, marginal seal, and durability of dental restorations crowns and dental prostheses.


A synthetic restorative resin used as a restorative material or adhesive.


A model that indicates a positive reproduction of the patient’s teeth and surrounding mouth structures from a dental impression.


Also known as tartar, are hardened plaque caused by precipitation of minerals from saliva and gingival crevicular fluid.


One of the most prevalent human disease that causes the destruction of tooth enamel due to bacterial demineralization.


The development of the teeth from primary to permanent and the arrangement of the teeth inside the mouth.


The identification, detection and discovery of the origin and nature of dental problems and diseases by considering any symptoms of pain and discomfort.


The space or gap between two adjacent teeth which often appears between the two upper front teeth.


The process of dental development where the tooth becomes visible as it comes out of the jaw and gums.


The act or dental process of removing a tumor, bone, tissue and excess gums from the mouth.


The process of repositioning a tooth axially from the socket.


A kind of partial denture that is removable and lightweight which is aimed to replace one or more missing teeth temporarily.

Fluoride Treatment

A dental procedure that uses fluoride gel to help protect the teeth from tooth decay and other periodontal diseases, and may be recommended for children and adults.


A chip or crack to the cusp that weakens the tooth, and may sometimes extend the damage to the pulp, nerve or root of the tooth.


A cosmetic dental screw that interfaces with the jawbone or skull to support dental crowns, bridges, dentures, and other facial prostheses.


A dental imprint of the teeth and mouth structures from which a positive reproduction of a model or cast can be formed.


The side of the tooth that is adjacent to the tongue.


A soft plastic device used to provide protection and prevention of any damage to the tooth, gums and other mouth structures during a sport or other physical activities.


A metal structure attached to a partial denture that aims to support the dental appliance and any plastic attachment.


The most common and a mild form of periodontal disease that causes swelling, irritation and redness of the gums.  At times, it causes bleeding of the gums around the base of the teeth.


A soft plastic device used to treat and protect the teeth from grinding and clenching especially during sleep.

Panoramic Radiograph

A two-dimensional dental x-ray that captures and shows the image of the entire mouth including the teeth, gums, mouth, jaw, and other oral structures in a single shot.


The center of the tooth composed of the unmineralized oral tissue, including vascular, lymphatic and nervous connective tissues.


A big pin made of metal, carbon or other high-grade materials that functions as a support to a big buildup on a tooth.


The group of premolars and molars.


An extension of a restorative material that goes beyond the confines of the cavity which may cause an oral health problem.

Open Bite

A malocclusion that has no vertical overlap between the maxillary and mandibular anterior incisors.


A licensed dental professional who assist a dentist, assess oral health of patients, take and develop dental radiographs, and performs dental cleaning and examination.


An indirect restoration consisting of a gold, porcelain or composite resin fitted into the cavity of the tooth while restoring the chewing surface of the tooth.


The gap that exists between the teeth and is usually occupied by the gums.


A complete ceramic or porcelain crown that covers and protects the entire surface of the tooth.


A set of high-quality dental tools and items that help maintain good oral health and hygiene.


The overlap of upper teeth and lower teeth when they close together.

Primary teeth

Also known as milk teeth, baby teeth or temporary teeth which are the first set of teeth in human development.


A patented anterior bite plate or interim dental splint that aids in protecting the teeth and jaw.


A preventive step of taking medication prior to a dental procedure to ensure safe, effective and comfortable treatment.


An intraoral dental piece used to reconstruct or restore missing tooth or part of a tooth, missing soft or hard tissue of the jaw, and other parts of the mouth structure.


A part of the root canal process that involves the removal of a portion of the removal of the pulp including the decayed aspect of the pulp.


The branch of dentistry that deals with the designing, manufacturing, and fitting of fabricated replacements for the teeth and mouth, and other dental structures.


An endodontic procedure that is provided to patients who underwent a prior root canal treatment which did not heal properly.

Root planing

A dental process that involves the removal of dental plaque and calculus that causes tooth decay, gingivitis, and other periodontal diseases.


A written reference, guide or aid in prescribing medications for the treatment of dental patients.  This includes instructions for medication, the amount of medicine that needs to be administered, and how and when the medication should be taken.


The part of the root that extends into the jawbone while holding the tooth in place.

Root canal

The canal that runs inside the root of the tooth.


A custom-made orthodontic appliance that made of high-grade wire or clear plastic strip that holds the teeth in place after a realignment process or oral surgery procedure.


A dental procedure that helps the patient to relax prior to and during any oral care treatment.


A dental procedure for patients with infected gums by cleaning and reaching below the gum line to remove plaque buildup.


A hard dental appliance that fits over the lower and upper teeth to support mobile parts of the mouth structure.


A bony growth along the mandible surface of the gums facing the tongue.

Tartar Scraper

A dental tool that efficiently and safely removes, scales and scrapes tartar and plaque from teeth and gum line.


An endodontic post or implant made from zirconium dioxide, which is more durable compared to porcelain.



A dental condition where the mouth dries due to reduced or absence of saliva.


Ultra Violet Dental Torch

A dental equipment used to cure composite resins, implant surfaces and fluoride paint.


A dental solution that rehabilitates the functionality, appearance, morphology, and integrity of the teeth.


The roof part of the mouth consisting of hard anterior, and the soft muscular posterior that separates the oral cavity from the nasal cavity.


An agent that causes loss of feeling or sensation that aids in pain-free procedures.


The terminal part of the root where the junction of the pulp and periodontal tissue meet.


The process of losing the hard tooth substance starting with the occlusal surface caused by teeth grinding, mastication, or chewing.


A cosmetic dental option that aims to produce whiter or stain-free teeth.


A dental condition wherein a patient unconsciously grinds, clenches or gnashes his or her teeth during sleep or even when awake.


A biguanide compound used as a disinfectant or antiseptic used to treat gum disease and in other dental procedures.

Crown (porcelain/plastic/metal)

A fixed prosthetic device that completely caps the teeth in order to restore your bite and aid in chewing food.


An unfilled space in the tooth caused by tooth decay.


A malocclusion where some of your upper teeth are sitting inside your lower teeth when biting.


The tooth surface that is directed towards the anterior midline or middle of the jaw.


A metal arm that provides a sturdier anchorage for dentures.


A dental procedure that treats hypersensitive teeth by applying a thin layer of fluoride gel or other desensitizing agents to strengthen the enamel of the teeth while reducing sensitivity.


An independent and professional practitioner that works with dentists, hygienists, oral surgeons and other dental providers who ensure exceptional dental care and service.


A removable prosthetic dental appliance structured to replace missing teeth.  This may either be partial or full.


The state of having no or fewer teeth.


The branch of dentistry that deals with the study, examination, diagnosis and treatment of dental pulp including the surrounding tissues of the roots of the tooth.


A cord of thin filament that is used to remove food particles and plaque which are stuck in between teeth that toothbrush bristles cannot reach.


A natural mineral used to strengthen the enamel of the teeth, making it more resistant to tooth decay, sensitivity and other dental diseases.


The branch of medicine that deals with the study, evaluation, diagnosis, examination, and treatment of the teeth, gums, jaw, and other mouth structures.  It also includes the treatment and prevention of teeth-related diseases, and the maintenance of oral health and hygiene.


An integral part of an oral surgical procedure that terminates the bleeding through controlled pressure or complex coagulation. This is done especially after a tooth extraction or a surgery for impacted tooth.


The front teeth located in the maxilla above and mandible below the jaws.


A pathological condition of the third molars that fail to attain the normal functional position.


The last 3 large flat teeth at the back of the mouth on both sides of the upper and lower jaw.


A connecting element between a tooth or an implant and a prosthetic appliance.


A restorative solution that extends over the cusps of the treated tooth.


The biting surface of the maxillary anterior teeth along which the mandibular anterior teeth glide.


The biting surface of the rear teeth on both sides of the upper and lower jaws.


The contact between the maxillary and mandibular teeth when they are in a bite position.


A restorative dental treatment that helps treat cavities and tooth decay, and it aims to restore the functionality and appearance of the teeth.


An artificial opening in the tooth which may be treated in an endodontic procedure.


The surrounding tissues of the bottom of the root of the tooth.


The branch of dentistry that deals with the surrounding and supporting structure of the teeth, including any disease or health conditions affecting any mouth structure.

Permanent teeth

Also known as adult teeth, are the set of teeth that replace the primary teeth which usually come out from age 6.


A nail-like that is inserted into the dentin to support dental fillings.


A dental procedure to restore and smoothen the surface of the teeth, and it includes the removal of stains and plaque accumulations on the teeth.


An artificial tooth that fills the empty space in between the abutments.


A process that determines a patient’s coverage for dental procedures which usually comes from the patient’s dental insurance provider.


An important dental treatment performed to thoroughly clean the teeth and to stop the progress of any periodontal disease.


A dental process to remove a portion of the pulp and the infected area, which aims to maintain the vitality of the remaining pulpal tissue.


Also known as x-ray, is an image that helps evaluate and diagnose dental health conditions.


An interval protocol to maintain oral health and prevent periodontal diseases through dental exams and cleaning.


A dental reattachment procedure that restores detached crowns and bridges.

Root canal treatment

An endodontic therapy treatment that aids in the treatment and prevention of tooth pulp infection.

Rubber dam

A rubber sheet that fits inside the mouth and isolates the affected area that will undergo treatment from the other parts of the mouth.


A plastic coating applied to the chewing surface of the rear teeth.

Space Maintainer

A custom-made dental appliance made of metal or acrylic material that aims to keep a gum space open to allow the teeth to erupt.

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