Your Northern Virginia Dentist shares some dental terms

Understanding the dental terms that are used by dentists in their studies can be useful not only for broadening your vocabulary but can help you when caring for your oral and overall health. Here are a few interesting terms that may be beneficial when you have your next appointment with your Northern Virginia dentist, and it will be fun to showcase your smarts!

Avulsed Tooth: When a tooth is knocked out by accident such as a fall or fight. It is considered a dental emergency and patient should go immediately to the dental office or emergency room.

Bruxism: Don’t stress over this word, it simply means teeth grinding.


Calculus: Though spelled the same, this is not a branch of math you may have studied hard in high school, but a hard residue that is known as tartar from inadequate control of the thin film called plaque. Signs of calculus are yellowed or brown colored teeth.

Caries: Oh wow, you may have only one or a few of these if you don’t brush and floss:  . . . cavities!


Pulpitis: dental term for the inflammation of the pulp, the core found under the enamel and part of the dentin and which is made up of living connective tissue and cells.


Pyorrhea: an old term for speaking of gum disease now called gingivitis or periodontal disease.


Dental Prophylaxis: If it’s time for dental prophylaxis, you will be seeing the dental hygienist for professional teeth cleaning to prevent infection, cavities and more.

Radiograph: Let’s see through this word and call it what it is: a dental x-ray.


Malocclusion: A condition for teeth that do not align properly when the jaws close.

Cavitron: Your dental hygienist uses this tool that uses high-frequency ultrasonic waves to clean the teeth.

Diastema: Simply a space between the teeth that happens naturally in relation to tooth growth.

Edentulism: The condition of being without one’s natural teeth.


Pontic: A replacement tooth that is mounted on a fixed or removal appliance that fills a gap caused by tooth loss.


There many more dental terms that exist in the Dental Field. Don't worry, you don't need to learn about all of them. Simply ask any questions that you might have related to your dental health on your next visit to your Northern Virginia dentist. 

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