A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

A

Abrasion: 
loss of tooth structure caused by a hard toothbrush, poor brushing technique, or Bruxism (grinding or clenching the teeth).

Abscess:
an infection of a tooth, soft tissue or bone

Abutment:
tooth or teeth that support a fixed or removable bridge

Adhesive dentistry:
contemporary term for dental restorations that involve "bonding" of composite resin or porcelain fillings to natural teeth

Air abrasion:
removal of tooth structure by blasting a tooth with air and abrasive, a relatively new technology that may avoid the need for anesthetic

Allergy:
unfavorable systemic response to a foreign substance or drug

Alveolar bone:
the jaw bone that anchors the roots of teeth

Amalgam:
a most common filling material, also known as "silver fillings,"containing mercury (app 50%), silver, tin, copper and zinc used for fillings

Analgesia:

a state of pain relief; an agent lessening pain

Anesthesia:
partial or complete elimination of pain sensation; numbing a tooth is an example of local anesthesia; general anesthesia produces partial or complete unconsciousness

Anterior teeth:

the six upper or six lower front teeth

Antibiotic:
a drug that stops or slows the growth of bacteria

ANUG:
an acronym for Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis, commonly known as trench mouth or Vincent's disease, aggravated by stress and/or smoking

Apex:
the tip of the root of a tooth

Apicoectomy:
surgical removal of the root tip to treat a dead tooth

Arch :
describes the alignment of the upper or lower teeth

Attrition:
loss of structure due to natural wear