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What’s in a Name? Learn Some Dental Terminology

Maintaining proper oral hygiene is important for more than just your teeth and gums. However, knowing how to take care of yourself comes from understanding what your dentist is talking about. If your dentist is using terms that you don’t understand, you may be missing important information about what you need to do to stay healthy.

Let’s take a look at a few of the most common dental terms that you should understand.

  1. Orthodontist: An orthodontist is actually much different than a traditional dentist. Orthodontists specialize in alignment issues, including braces, retainers, and more.

  2. Plaque: Plaque is a hardened form of bacteria that can lead to tooth decay.

  3. Periodontal Disease: Periodontal disease occurs when the jaw becomes inflamed and irritated. Without the proper treatment, it can cause long-lasting damage.

  4. Cosmetic Dentistry: Cosmetic dentistry centers around the appearance of the teeth. This includes the color of the teeth as well as the shape of the teeth.

  5. Gingivitis. Gingivitis is an early stage of gum disease that is entirely treatable with the right care and attention.

  6. Sealant: A special protective coating that can help prevent tooth decay.

  7. Resin: Resin is a bonding material used in restoring and replacing decayed or broken teeth.

  8. Bleaching: Bleaching is a tooth whitening process where peroxide is used.

  9. Edentulous: Edentulous is the event that someone has lost all or most of their natural teeth.

  10. Malocclusion: Malocclusion is the term for a misalignment between the teeth or the jaw.

  11. Prophylaxis: Prophylaxis is the term for professional teeth cleaning, typically performed by a dentist or dental hygienist.

  12. Restorative Dentistry: Restorative dentistry is the dental process of restoring proper form and function to the teeth.

If Dr. Anderson ever uses any terms that you’re unfamiliar with, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. It is important that you fully understand any recommendations or diagnosis given to you, so always speak up if you have any questions.

To book an appointment with Dr. Anderson or his Kansas City Cosmetic Dentistry team, contact our office at 816.454.3336. With dental solutions for your entire family, we can provide a one-stop-shop to ensure you’re getting the oral care you need.

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