Premier Dental of Connecticut in Fairfield
1700 Post Road, Fairfield, CT 06824

Glossary of Dental Terms

A

Amalgam – Material made from mercury and other alloy mixtures used to restore a drilled portion of a tooth.
Anesthesia – Medications used to relieve pain.
Anterior teeth – Front teeth. Also called incisors and cuspids.
Arch – The upper or lower jaw.

B

Baby bottle tooth decay – Caused by sugary substances in breast milk and some juices, which combine with saliva to form pools inside the baby?s mouth.
Bicuspids – Back teeth used for chewing.
Bitewings – X-rays that help a dentist diagnose cavities.
Bonding – Application of tooth-colored resin materials to the surface of the teeth.
Bridge – A fixed or removable appliance that replaces lost teeth.
Bruxism – Teeth grinding.

C

Calculus – A sticky substance (also called tartar) that has hardened.
Canal – The narrow chamber inside the tooth?s root.
Canines – Also called cuspids.
Canker sore – One that occurs on the delicate tissues inside your mouth. A canker sore is usually light-colored at its base and can have a red exterior border.
Caries – Another term for decay, which causes cavities.
Cold sore – Usually occurs on the outside of the mouth, usually on or near the nose or lips. A cold sore is contagious because it is caused by the herpes simplex virus, and it is usually painful and filled with fluid.
Composite filling – Tooth colored restorations, also known as resin fillings.
Composite resin – A tooth-colored resin combined with silica or porcelain and used as a restoration material.
Contouring – The process of reshaping teeth.
Crown – An artificial cover that is placed on the top of a tooth following restoration.
Cusps – The pointed parts on top of the back teeth?s chewing surface.
Cuspids – Front teeth that typically have a protruding edge.

D

Dentin – The tooth layer underneath the enamel.
Denture – A removable set of teeth.

E

Endodontics – A form of dentistry that addresses problems affecting the tooth?s root or nerve.

F

Fluoride – A naturally occurring substance added to water, toothpastes and some rinses and used for strengthening the tooth?s enamel.
Fluorosis – A harmless over-exposure to fluoride and resulting sometimes in tooth discoloration.

G

Gingiva – Another word for gum tissue.
Gingivitis – A minor disease of the gums caused by plaque.
Gum disease – An infection of the gum tissues. Also called periodontal disease.

I

Impacted teeth – A condition in which a tooth fails to erupt or only partially erupts.
Implant – A permanent appliance used to replace a missing tooth.
Incisor – Front teeth with cutting edges; located in the center or on the sides near the front.
Inlay – An artificial filling made of various materials, including porcelain, resin, or gold.

L

Laminate veneer – A shell that is bonded to the enamel of a front tooth. The shell is usually thin and made from porcelain resin.
Laser – Light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. A single wavelength beam of highly concentrated energy.

M

Malocclusion – Bad bite relationship.
Mandible – The lower jaw.
Maxilla – The upper jaw.
Molar – Usually the largest teeth, near the rear of the mouth. Molars have large chewing surfaces.

N

Neuromuscular Dentistry – are more than the aches and pains felt in around the neck and head that are associated with your teeth and jaw.

O

Onlay – A filling designed to protect the chewing surface of a tooth.
Orthodontics – A field of dentistry that deals with tooth and jaw alignment.
Overdenture – A non-fixed dental appliance applied to a small number of natural teeth or implants.

P

Palate – Roof of the mouth.
Partial denture – A removable appliance that replaces teeth. Also called a bridge.
Pedodontics – A field of dentistry that deals with children?s teeth.
Perio pocket – An opening formed by receding gums.
Periodontal disease – Infection of the gum tissues. Also called gum disease.
Periodontist – A dentist who treats diseases of the gums.
Permanent teeth – The teeth that erupt after primary teeth. Also called adult teeth.
Plaque – A sticky, colorless substance that covers the teeth after sleep or periods between brushing.
Posterior teeth – The bicuspids and molars. Also called the back teeth.
Primary teeth – A person?s first set of teeth. Also called baby teeth or temporary teeth.
Prophylaxis – The act of cleaning the teeth.
Prosthodontics – The field of dentistry that deals with artificial dental appliances.
Pulp – The inner tissues of the tooth containing blood, nerves and connective tissue.

R

Receding gum – A condition in which the gums separate from the tooth, allowing bacteria and other substances to attack the tooth?s enamel and surrounding bone.
Resin filling – An artificial filling used to restore teeth. Also called a composite filling.
Root canal – A procedure in which a tooth?s nerve is removed and an inner canal cleansed and later filled.
Root planing – Scraping or cleansing of teeth to remove heavy buildup of tartar below the gum line.

S

Sealant – A synthetic material placed on the tooth?s surface that protects the enamel and chewing surfaces.

T

TMJ – Temporomandibular joint disorder. Health problems related to the jaw joint just in front of the ear.
Tarter – A hardened substance (also called calculus) that sticks to the tooth?s surface.

V

Veneer – A laminate applied or bonded to the tooth.

W

Whitening – A process that employs special bleaching agents for restoring the color of teeth.
Wisdom tooth – Third set of molars that erupt last in adolescence.

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
This has to be one of the premier dental offices in Connecticut and the staff is top flight. I recently had my teeth cleaned by one of their hygienists, Marissa, who is funny, witty, and smart, she […]
Mario L.
I was referred to this office by a co-worker and I must say they are very professional, knowledgeable, and friendly. My hygienist was absolutely the best , I highly recommend going here.
Robert A.
staff was helpful, felt very welcomed and comfortable, wait was short.
Richard R.
I love coming to this office, all the doctors, hygienists and front desk are all very friendly and professional.
Larissa S.
I’m always satisfied when I leave the office and appreciate the vast knowledge that the dentists and hygienists have. I was especially impressed by one of their hygienists: Kelsey. She was able […]
John M.
Best in the business. I was referred to this dentistry by a co worker and have never looked back. The staff is very friendly and professional. My teeth cleanings are very quick and convenient. The […]
Alfred A.
Excellent service from start to finish. Front desk staff is pleasant and accommodating. I came in for a cleaning with Nina, who is always energetic and friendly—makes you feel like you’re at […]
Kristen S.
I love coming here! The Dental Hygienist Marissa is so sweet and so gentle! She goes out of her way for her patients and has helped me so much! I don’t know what I would do with out her!
Lauren H.
I recently had my dental cleaning with Marissa and I must say it was such a smooth excellent job I couldn’t rave more about my experience , I would definitely recommend this office!
Dan S.
Lovely environment in the heart of Fairfield. The front desk was exceptional and were so attentive from right when I walked in to right when I left. I’ve seen Marissa and Maggie during my […]
Frank A.
Excellent Service, top notch employees, would recommend to anyone!
Michael L.
My experience at this office was splendid , my hygienist Marissa was so nice and helpful with Any question I’ve had. I’ve always been afraid of the dentist but she completely changed my outlook […]
Adam M.
My experience was beyond excellent and I felt truly welcomed. My hygienist Marissa was extremely friendly with a bubbly personality and a beautiful smile! Super knowledgeable staff and quick to […]
Jessica R.
Great staff, friendly and helpful. Caring doctors and most of all, gentle hygienists. I actually look forward to my next visits.
Nani T.
I had an accident and chipped my bottom front tooth, scheduled an appointment with Dr. Putnam and he put a bonding on my tooth. He did such a great job my tooth looks so natural, I was very pleased. […]
Angelica G.
I love this place especially Marissa Chiappone who has always been very pleasant and easy to talk to. By far the best dental hygienist I’ve ever had.
Luigi V.
The staff and doctors are very friendly and always welcoming. Its always a pleasure talking with Sonia when I call to schedule my dental appointments. Keep up the great work.
Victor F.
Great place nice people
Joe B.
Office Hours
Mon. – 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tue. – 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Wed. – 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Thu. – 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Fri. – 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Sat. – 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM

Every other Saturday

Phone: (203) 745-2082
Fax: (203) 259-5851
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  • Monday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Wednesday 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Thursday 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Friday 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Saturday 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM
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