Dr. Joedi Pasut
Alpine Smiles Family Dentistry
1600 W. University Ave #113
“I’m scared because I have no idea what’s going on or what to expect.”
“That absolutely terrifying sound of the drill sends shivers down my spine.”
“I have terrible teeth, I’m just so embarrassed.”
When you come in to see the dentist, do you ever feel confused? Do you hear the dentist and hygienist talking, but don’t understand what exactly they’re saying? Dental terminology is almost its own language, with lots of unique terms and numbers used by professionals. It would be great if you had a better understanding of this foreign language. Here’s a guide from A to Z of some of the many common dental phrases that may help you at your next visit!
Abrasion: Loss of tooth structure caused by a hard toothbrush, poor brushing technique or bruxism.
Bruxism: Grinding or gnashing of the teeth, most commonly while the patient is asleep.
Calculus: Hard residue, commonly known as tartar, that forms on teeth due to inadequate plaque control. Calculus teeth are often stained yellow or brown.
Diastema: A space between teeth.
Enamel: Hard tissue covering the portion of tooth above the gum line.
Filling: Restoration of lost tooth structure with metal, porcelain or resin materials.
Gingivitis: The inflammation of gum tissue.
Halitosis: Bad breath of oral or gastrointestinal origin.
Inter-proximal: Surface in between adjoining teeth.
Jacket: The crown for a front tooth, usually made of porcelain.
K-file: A file used during a root canal.
Laughing Gas: Nitrous oxide, an odorless inhalation agent that produces relative analgesic (sedation), and reduces anxiety and creates a state of relaxation.
Mandible: The lower jaw.
Nerve: The tissue that conveys sensation, temperature and position information to the brain.
Occlusion: The relationship of the upper and lower teeth upon closure.
Periapical (PA): The region at the end of the roots of teeth.
Quadrant: One of the four equal sections into which the dental arches can be divided; begins at the midline of the arch and extends distally to the last tooth.
Restoration: The replacement of a portion of a damaged tooth.
Supernumerary Tooth: An extra tooth.
TMJ: The temporomandibular joint where the lower jaw attaches to the skull.
Unerupted Tooth: A tooth that has not pushed through the gum and assumed its correct position in the dental arch.
Vertical Dimension: The arbitrary space between the upper and lower jaws upon closure that may decrease over time due to wear, shifting or damage to the teeth.
Wisdom Teeth: The third (last) molars that usually erupt between the age of 18-25.
Xerostomia: Dry mouth or decrease in the production of saliva.
Yeast: Also called candida, which is a fungus that can occur in various parts of the body including the mouth.
Zygomatic bone: Quadrangular bone on either side of the face that forms the cheek prominence.
You’ve heard the saying “April showers bring may flowers.” Well, good thing I like the rain because April is actually my favorite month. In the dental world, April means three things:
Oral Cancer Awareness Month
April = learning. I always love the opportunity to educate my patients on the awareness and severity of oral cancer, and how easily preventable it is.
1. Brush. 👏 Your. 👏 Teeth. 👏
2. Come see me every six months.
3. Don’t use tobacco products (it eats away at your teeth).
You know what’s scary? About 50,000 people are going to be diagnosed with oral cancer in 2017. And we’re going to try to make sure it isn’t any of you because we’re going to make sure your mouth is in tip-top shape.
National Facial Protection Month
In April, dentists, schools, parents, athletes, and anyone involved with sports come together to talk about the importance of protecting our kiddos from face injuries! We talked about it in last month’s blog. It’s so important to wear face masks and mouth guards to protect our mouth. I love that so many people talk about it.
If you know me, you know that I am a big jokester. There’s nothing that I love more than making people laugh—something that I take into my dental practice. When you’re relaxed, so am I, which makes your time in the chair so much easier.
Plus, I really like pranks… and am apparently really easily pranked. 😂 Watch the video here: https://www.facebook.com/alpinesmiles/videos/1310990048990025/
Thanks for reading, y’all!
Picture this: a middle school baseball player is up for bat. The first pitch is thrown. Strike. The second pitch is thrown. A solid hit. Except, not to the outfield, but rather the face. Blood appears immediately and the coach runs out to assess the injury. The pitcher runs up to apologize, while the catcher searches the ground for the teeth that have been knocked out. You watch helplessly from the stands wondering what happened… Or, if you’re like me, you’re already on the field holding your child.
When your child plays sports, you might often worry about broken bones or sprained ankles. Well, their teeth are equally as important to worry about! Tripping over a hurdle or a basketball off the backboard to the face could chip or even knock out a tooth.
But, parents! Do not fret. I have a solution.
Mouthguards & helmets: for more than just football.
Yes, yes, I know. Safety–a child’s least favorite word. Trust me, I have twin daughters… I know how hard it is to get them to wear anything that doesn’t look “cool.” My solution? Try showing them these photos from sports related injuries and see what they have to say…
Trigger warning: blood ahead.