Dental Terminology Carson CA

Dental Glossary

Dental Terminology in Carson, CA

Are you trying to understand your dental treatment plan but are unsure of the meaning of words such as retainer and veneers? We’ve put together this list of common terms to help you.

Carson Care Dental Center Glossary


Abrasion -

Dental abrasion is a type of enamel wear that damages the teeth and is often caused by outside forces (dental appliances, improper brushing techniques, chewing on pens, etc).

Abscess -

If there is an injury or irritation to a specific area, it may become infected with bacteria. The body’s response is to build a barrier around it, known as an abscess. Typically, abscesses will hurt, swell, or have pus in them.

Air Abrasion -

Air abrasion is a modern method for eliminating tooth decay and can even sometimes eliminate the need for an anesthetic. Essentially, dentists release abrasive air in short blasts over the tooth they are working on.

Amalgam Filling -

An amalgam filling refers to a filling made of mercury, copper, tin, and silver. Its affordability and durability have made it a popular choice for over 150 years.


Bite -

A bite, sometimes referred to as an occlusion, occurs when the upper and lower arch of teeth meet.

Bitewings -

Bitewings is a common term that references a type of x-ray used to identify cavities in the back of the mouth.

Bonding -

The term bonding references a dental technique that uses resin materials to strengthen and restore a patient’s teeth.

Bridges -

A bridge is a type of denture that “bridges” the gap between either one or multiple missing teeth. Surrounding teeth or implants usually stabilize bridges.

Bruxism -

“Bruxism” is the official term for teeth grinding and clenching. Many times, individuals do this subconsciously or during the night.


Calculus -

Soft plaque eventually hardens, leaving a substance called tartar or calculus on the teeth. It takes a professional hygienist to remove it successfully.

Caries -

The earliest form of dental decay is known as “caries.” If caries are left unaddressed, they can become cavities.

Cavities -

Cavities are the advanced form of dental decay and usually addressed using fillings.

Closed Bite -

A closed or deep bite refers to how the upper teeth hide the lower teeth.

Composite Filling -

Often, a composite filling is used in patients with cavities and is made of a mixture of plastic particles and fine glass.

Crowns -

A crown is a replacement tooth, and it is also commonly referred to as a “cap.”


Dental Implant -

A dental implant replaces missing or damaged teeth, allowing the patient to eat, chew, and speak with ease.

Dentures -

Dentures are fabricated teeth that allow patients to eat, chew, and speak properly. They can be created for one or both arches, and they may be fixed or removable.


Edentulous -

The term edentulous refers to the fact that a patient is missing one or both arches of teeth.


Gingivitis -

Gingivitis is the earliest form of periodontal disease, and symptoms include pain, swelling, or bleeding gums.


Halitosis -

Halitosis is the official dental term that is used to refer to “bad breath.”


Impacted Tooth -

Sometimes a tooth has difficulty erupting through the gums. It is therefore referred to as an impacted tooth.

Incisors -

The four upper and lower teeth positioned at the front of the mouth are called incisors. Importantly, incisors help patients to bite down and eat.


Malocclusion -

Sometimes the upper and lower teeth are misaligned, which is referred to as a malocclusion.

Mandible -

The lower jaw is also referred to as a mandible.

Molars -

The back teeth that have a few cusps on the top and are used to chew food well are called molars.


Occlusion -

When a patient chews or clenches and the upper teeth meet the lower ones, this is called an occlusion.


Periodontitis -

Untreated gingivitis turns into periodontitis, also referred to as periodontal disease. In addition to discomfort, swelling, and bleeding, gums may start receding and bone loss can occur. Thus, a patient’s teeth may become loose or fall out.


Root Canal -

Dentists use a root canal procedure to try and save a patient’s damaged or decaying tooth. During this procedure, the dental decay is extracted, and the empty spot that held the tooth’s root is cleaned and sealed.


Scaling -

In the event of plaque, biofilm, and tartar buildups, a dental procedure referred to as scaling may be necessary. Scaling helps address buildup on the teeth and underneath the gum line.


Temporary Crown -

Temporary crowns are typically made of stainless steel or acrylic, and they are used as a temporary solution until a patient’s permanent crown is ready to be placed.


Wisdom Teeth -

A patient’s wisdom teeth are located at the back of their jaw, and if the mouth is crowded, they may need to be removed.

Do You Have More Questions for Care Dental Center?

Care Dental Center is committed to patient education, so if you have any questions, feel free to contact us at (310) 626-0004!