Dental Terminology Whittier CA


Dental Terminology Whittier, CA

Dental care at Dentists of Whittier goes beyond just checkups and teeth cleanings. We also strive to educate patients like you to help empower you to improve your oral health and that of your family. To that end, we’ve compiled some common dental and orthodontic terminology below to help you:

Dentists of Whittier Dental Terminology

What is a Family Dentist?

A family dentist is a dentist that helps patients of all ages, from childhood to adulthood. Some dental offices are just for adults or just for children. At Dentists of Whittier, we offer family dentistry services for every stage of life.

What is a Pediatric Dentist?

A pediatric dentist is a dentist who has special training and professional experience working with children and teenagers.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is the use of safe medications that relax the patient or numb the area being worked on. Conscious sedation such as nitrous oxide relaxes the patient and helps them get through the procedure without much anxiety. It’s great for nervous kids and anxious adults. General anesthesia might also be used for dental or oral surgery, which puts a person to sleep entirely.

What is an Orthodontist?

An orthodontist is a dentist who has a minimum of two extra years of training in orthodontics. Orthodontics is the dental specialty focused on fixing malocclusions, or misalignments, of the teeth, bite, and jaw.

What is a Periodontist?

Periodontists are dentists who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of periodontal or gum disease. Your main dentist may also serve as a periodontist.

What is Periodontal Disease (aka Gum Disease)?

Periodontal disease is more commonly known as gum disease. It starts off as gingivitis, which means the gums are inflamed. If not treated, gingivitis progresses to periodontitis, which is an active infection of the gums that can cause a lot of problems, from tooth decay to loss of gum tissue, teeth, and bone.

What Are Metal Braces vs. Ceramic Braces?

Metal braces are a common way to straighten teeth and consist of metal brackets and wires placed on the teeth. Ceramic braces are clear braces made from natural-looking porcelain ceramic. The brackets are tooth-colored or translucent and the wires are clear, making them much less visible.

What Are Invisalign® Clear Aligners?

Invisalign® clear aligners are also sometimes called clear braces, but they are actually not braces. They consist of custom-molded plastic trays that gently straighten teeth. They are clear and nearly “invisible” when worn.

What is a Retainer?

Once you’ve finished wearing braces or Invisalign® clear aligners, you will need to “retain” the changes. This is done via a dental appliance called a retainer. Sometimes, retainers are used for mild orthodontic alignment issues that don’t require braces in the first place.

What Are Dentures?

Dentures are commonly known as “false teeth” and are typically removable, although some modern dentures are fixed into place.

What is a Fixed Bridge?

A fixed bridge or dental bridge is an alternative to dentures. With a bridge, an appliance is secured to the mouth, usually via teeth that are adjacent to the missing teeth. Fixed bridges are not removable.

What Are Dental Crowns?

A dental crown is a cap that covers and strengthens a tooth that has been damaged. Sometimes, crowns are used to conceal discolored teeth, or they may be used as anchors for fixed bridges.

What is a Tooth Extraction?

When we need to remove a tooth, it is called an extraction. For example, wisdom teeth are commonly extracted in the late teenage years to make room for nearby teeth.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are a secure and permanent tooth replacement option that are implanted in the jaw so that replacement teeth and/or bridges can be affixed. Dental implants are typically made out of titanium alloy but some are also made of a non-metal composite.

What is Dental Filling?

A dental filling is a way to strengthen teeth weakened by cavities and protect them from further damage. Modern fillings are typically made from a safe and non-toxic composite resin.

What is Dental Bonding?

The same composite resin used in dental fillings is used in dental bonding to shape and repair teeth. It can also be used cosmetically to close gaps between teeth, smooth over cracked teeth, and make stained teeth whiter.

What Are Restorative Inlays and Onlays?

Restorative inlays and onlays are dental restorations that are made from porcelain. They are secured over teeth to protect and strengthen them. Porcelain inlays and onlays are typically used instead of a filling as a better way to repair teeth damaged by cavities and tooth decay. An inlay is secured inside the top of the tooth and an onlay is placed on top and over the sides of the tooth. Porcelain inlays and onlays are tooth colored and look like natural teeth.

Get Your Healthy Smile Back!

Contact us or call (562) 414-5025 today to learn more about our dental services at Dentists of Whittier.

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