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

P

Palate:
hard and soft tissue forming the roof of the mouth

Palliative treatment:
non invasive relief of irritating conditions

Parasthesia:
a partial loss of sensation; may be temporary or permanent

Partial denture:
removable dental prosthesis (appliance) replacing one or more natural teeth

Pathology:
study of disease

Periapical (PA):
region at the end of the roots of teeth

Periodontal surgery:
recontouring or esthetic management of diseased gum and supporting tissue

Periodontist:
dental specialist treating the gums and supporting soft and hard tissues retaining natural teeth and the surgical placement of dental implants

Pedodontics or pediatric dentistry:
dental specialty focusing on treatment of children

Periodontal chart:
record measuring the depth of gum pockets around the teeth

Permanent teeth:
(usually) thirty-two adult teeth in a complete dentition

Pit:
a small defect in the tooth enamel; junction of four formative lobes of a developing tooth

Placebo:
inert medication or treatment that produces psychological benefit

Plaque:
soft sticky substance that accumulates on teeth; composed of bacteria and food debris due to inadequate dental hygiene

Pontic:
replacement tooth mounted on a fixed or removal appliance

Porcelain crown:
all porcelain restoration covering the coronal portion of tooth (above the gum line)

Porcelain fused to metal (PFM) crown:
restoration with metal coping (for strength) covered by porcelain (for appearance)

Porcelain inlay or onlay:
tooth-colored restoration made of porcelain, cemented or bonded in place

Porcelain veneers:
a thin layer of porcelain, fabricated by a laboratory) bonded to a natural tooth to replace lost tooth structure, close spaces, straighten teeth or change color and/or shape

Post:
thin metal rod inserted into the root of a tooth after root canal therapy; provides retention for a "coping" that replaces lost tooth structure and retains crown

Post-core:
post and buildup to replace lost tooth structure and retain crown

Post-crown:
single structure that combines post-core and crown

PPO or PDO:
preferred provider (dental) organization which a health care (dental) provider may join, offering fee for service treatment at reduced fees

Prognosis:
the anticipated outcome of treatment

Prophylaxis:
cleaning of the teeth for the prevention of periodontal disease and tooth decay

Prosthesis:
an artificial appliance for the replacement for a body part

Prosthodontist:
dental specialist skilled in restoring or replacing teeth with fixed or removable prosthesis (appliance), maintaining proper occlusion; treats facial deformities with artificial prostheses such as eyes, ears, and noses

Pulp:
the nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue inside a tooth

pulp cap:
a medicated covering over a small area of exposed pulp tissue

Pulp chamber:
the center or innermost portion of the tooth containing the pulp

Pulpectomy:
complete removal of the pulp (commonly done in children's teeth)

Pulpitis:
inflammation of the pulp; common cause of toothache

Pulpotomy:
partial removal of the pulp tissue

Pyorrhea:
older term for periodontal (gum) disease