Paediatric Dental Glossary

Dr. Yasmin Kottait – Paediatric Dental Terms


  1. Abscess – Is a severe inflammation in the gum tissue on the tooth root that usually shows with an infection, swelling or. Abscess can cause damage to teeth and bone if not treated in time. Abscess is usually caused by tooth decay or gum disease.
  2. Amalgam – Is a type of dental filling used to fill cavities that are caused by tooth decay. Amalgam is made of mixture of metals and leaves a silver coating when applied.
  3. Anaesthetic – Is a drug used by your dentists to numb a part of the mouth or the gum before performing a painful procedure such as removing a tooth or root canal.
  4. Anterior – the teeth or tissue located in the front of your mouth.
  5. Aspirator – a suction device your dentist uses to remove liquids or gas from your mouth


  1. Bleaching Agent – Is a gel that is used to whiten and brighten teeth. Dental bleaching materials normally contain peroxide.
  2. Bonding – Bonding is applying a tooth-colored composite resin (plastic) to repair a broken or damaged tooth.
  3. Braces– Different devices (bands, wires, ceramic appliances) that are put in place by orthodontists to slowly reposition teeth to a more desirable alignment.
  4. Bracket – An orthodontic attachment that is fix on a tooth for engaging an arch wire. They come in different materials such as metal, ceramic or plastic.
  5. Bruxism – Clenching or grinding of teeth, that usually happen while sleeping
  6. Band (orthodontic) – Also known as moral band is a thin metal ring, usually made of stainless steel, which secures orthodontic attachments to a tooth. The band is cemented into place.
  7. Bridge – Dental appliance that is fixed to teeth adjacent to a space; it replaces one or more missing teeth. Bridges can be fixed or removable.


  1. Caries – A from of tooth decay caused by bacteria infection (Clinical name for tooth decay)
  2. Cavity – a tiny hole that is formed on a child’s tooth caused by decay. If your child has a cavity, the dentist will remove the decayed material and replace it with restorative material.
  3. Cementum – A thin layer of bone like substance which covers the root of a tooth.
  4. Crown – an artificial tooth or cover made of porcelain or metal that are usually used when your child’s primary tooth decay is not repairable with filling or if the tooth is chipped.
  5. Composite – A type of filling (white or tooth colored) made of plastic or glass mixture that is used to restore a decayed tooth. Composites are also used for cosmetic improvements.
  6. Calculus – or “tartar,” is a hardened dental plague that forms on teeth due to insufficient plaque control, may be stained brown or yellow.


  1. Decalcification – When teeth lose calcium
  2. Deciduous Teeth – also called primary teeth or “baby teeth.”
  3. Decay – A damaged tooth structure that’s softened by a cavity. Cavities are removed to create a hard surface so a filling can be placed
  4. Dentures – Artificial teeth that are meant for the partial or complete replacement of missing teeth. Dentures are removable set of artificial teeth for daily use.


  1. Enamel – The hard, thin layer that works as protection for the dentin of a tooth crown.
  2. Extraction – The act of removing a tooth or teeth
  3. Erupting – New teeth that are growing and surfacing through the gum.


  1. Filling – Metal or composite material that is used to fill tooth cavity.
  2. Flossing – Nylon made thread used to clean between the contact areas of teeth.
  3. Fluoride – A mineral solution used to harden teeth and prevent tooth decay.
  4. Fluoride varnish – A liquid, made of fluoride, that is painted onto the teeth for production against cavities.


  1. Gingivitis – Swollen gums around the roots of the teeth caused by plague.
  2. Gingiva – Technical term for gum tissue. Gingiva surrounds the roots of the teeth.
  3. Gum recession – When gum recedes from the teeth due to disease or surgery.
  4. Gummy Smile – A condition when a high lip line (hypermobile lip) is exposing an abnormal level of gum tissue. This condition can be corrected with surgery.


  1. Impacted tooth – Unerupted tooth or partially erupted tooth that is placed against another tooth or bone and can’t erupt properly.
  2. Implant – An artificial tooth root that is placed in jaw bone to support as a tooth replacement solution or hold dental bridges.


  1. Laminate veneer – Tooth-colored layer of porcelain that is used to cover the front of a healthy tooth to save the appearance from discoloration or damage.
  2. Lingual – Is and adjective referring to the tongue. Surface of a tooth pointed to towards the tongue.


  1. Mouthguard – A protective device that is used to protect the mouth and teeth during sport activities.
  2. Malocclusion – Misalignment of upper and lower jaw or teeth.


  1. Night Guard – A mouthpiece made of plastic that is worn at night to prevent grinding of the teeth. Mostly used to treat TMJ.
  2. Nitrous Oxide -Also called laughing gas reduces anxiety and gagging reflexes. Inhaling nitrous oxide numbs patient’s sensitivity during dental procedures.


  1. Oral Sedation – Sedation type in which a patient takes an oral sedative before an appointment for relaxation. It is also referred to as oral conscious sedation.
  2. Orthodontics – A dental specialty that deals with diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of tooth or jaw misalignment.
  3. Occlusion – The way teeth meet when the upper jaw and lower jaw come together.


  1. Periodontist – Dentist that specializes in the treatment of gum disease.
  2. Plaque – A sticky combination of acids and bacteria that results in tooth decay.
  3. Primary teeth – Baby teeth or Deciduous teeth are the primary teeth that grow in a baby.
  4. Prosthodontist – A dentist that specializes in teeth restoration and replacement of missing teeth or damaged ones.


  1. Root Canal – Process of cleaning out or treating tooth’s root.
  2. Rubber dam – A barrier technique that is used to prevent the passage of saliva or moisture during filling, or to provide an isolated operative field.


  1. Sealant – A plastic coating that is applied to teeth to prevent tooth decay. Sealants are usually used for children.
  2. Scaling – Deep dental cleaning to remove plague or stains on the surface of the teeth.
  3. Sleep Apnea – a type of potentially serious sleep disorder in which a sleeping person may stop breathing for 10 seconds or more. This means the boxy will not receive enough oxygen.
  4. Stomatitis – Refers to swollen mouth or lips.


  1. Tartar – see calculus.
  2. TMJ Syndrome – Is a disorder associated with the joint of the jaws. TMJ syndrome is mostly caused by a misalignment of or a inequality in upper and lower jaw sizes.
  3. Trench mouth – One of the most painful mouth diseases that involved gum ulcers or loss of tissue.


  1. Veneer – A plastic, porcelain or composite material used to use to cover the front of a tooth in order to improve the attractiveness of a stained or damaged tooth.
If your kids are scared from the dentist, bring them to see me 🙂