Gentle Dental of Westland
825 S Wayne Road, Westland, MI 48186

Glossary of Dental Terms

Abscess

An infection in a tooth, often accompanied by swelling and inflammation.

 

Abutment

Tooth or tooth root that supports or stabilizes a bridge, denture, or other prosthetic appliance.

 

Adhesive Dentistry

Process in which composite resin is adhered to the existing enamel of a tooth. This can be used to repair or improve the appearance of a tooth.

 

Allergy

An abnormal reaction of the body to a drug or foreign substance.

 

Anesthesia

General or local insensibility to pain, induced by certain interventions or drugs to permit the performance of surgery or other painful procedures.

 

Anterior Teeth

The six upper and lower front teeth. These consist of incisors and cuspids.

 

Bicuspid or pre-molar

Any of eight teeth located in pairs on each side of the upper and lower jaws between the cuspids and molars.

 

Bonding

A procedure for restoring the discolored or damaged surface of a tooth by coating it with composite resin that adheres to the existing enamel.

 

Bridge

An artificial replacement of a missing tooth or teeth, attached by cement or composite resin to natural teeth or roots adjacent to the space.

 

Crown

1.             The part of a tooth that is covered by enamel and not covered by gum tissue.

2.             An artificial substitute, as of gold or porcelain, which entirely covers the anatomical crown of a tooth

 

Cuspid or canine

The four pointed or conical teeth also commonly known as ‘eyeteeth’.

 

DDS

Doctor of Dental Surgery

 

Dentin

Hard tissue that forms the inner layer of the structure of a tooth and is situated beneath the surface enamel

 

Dental implant

A metal screw (often titanium) that is surgically anchored in the gums or jawbone to support a dental appliance or replace a missing tooth.

 

Denture

An artificial replacement of some or all of the natural teeth

 

Disease of the gums

Periodontal disease (also called “Gum Disease” or “Periodontal Disease”) involves bacterial growth (a colorless film, called “plaque”) that gradually destroys the tissue surrounding the teeth. If not removed, plaque builds up on the teeth and ultimately irritates the gums and causes bleeding. If left untreated, bone and surrounding tissue will decay, resulting in loose teeth, or worse, tooth loss. More than 75 percent of Americans over 35 have some form of gum disease.

 

DMD

Doctor of Dental Medicine

 

Enamel

The hard layer covering of the crown of a tooth.

 

Endodontics

The area of dentistry concerned with the treatment of the dental pulp or nerve of the tooth.

 

Endodontists

Endodontists are dentists who have additionally 2-3 years of training following dental school and typically limit their practice to root canal therapy and root canal surgery. Very often Endodontists earn a graduate degree (Master’s degree) as well as specialized certified training. While some Dentists perform root canals themselves, generally Dentists will refer a patient requiring Endodontics to a trained Endodontist.

 

Filling

A substance, such as metal, porcelain or resin, that is used to replace lost tooth structured caused by decay.

 

Gingivitis

Inflammation of the gums.

 

Halitosis

Bad breath

 

Incisors

The four front teeth in either the upper or lower jaw.

 

Malocclusion

Faulty contact between the upper and lower teeth, causing these teeth to be misaligned.

 

Mandible

The lower jaw

 

Maxilla

The upper jaw

 

Molars

Teeth for grinding food, located in the back of the mouth on either side.

 

Nerve (root) canal

Hollow passage inside of a tooth, inhabited by nerve tissue.

 

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Surgery to correct a wide spectrum of diseases or injuries upper jaw or face.

 

Oral Surgeon

An Oral Surgeon (“Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon” or OMFS) first receive their training in dentistry and then continue further specialization in treating the areas of the mouth, jaws and the face as well as associated structures. While Oral Surgeons often additionally go on to study medicine and may go so far to take a Medical Degree (MD), a medical degree is not required for an OMFS to practice. Oral & maxillofacial surgery is universally recognized as a one of the nine specialties of dentistry.

 

Orthodontics

Orthodontics is an area of dentistry that involved the treatment of improper bites (“malocclusions”) making use of a variety of devises, most commonly, braces, to move teeth or adjust underlying bone. The word comes from the Greek words ortho meaning straight and odons meaning tooth.

 

Orthodontist

Orthodontists first complete 4 years of dental school training (DDS). Orthodontists additionally complete 2-3 of residency training focused on the specific treatment and realignment of misaligned teeth with devises including braces, retainers and other methods.

 

Overbite

Condition in which the upper incisors overlap the lower ones.

 

Pediatric Dentistry

The practice of dentistry on children.

 

Pediatric Dentist

Pediatric Dentists (or Pediodontists) study an additional 2 years in a residency program following their graduation from dental school. As specified by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, Pediatric Dentists study advanced diagnostic and surgical procedures, along with child psychology and clinical management, oral pathology, child-related pharmacology, radiology, child development, management of oral/facial trauma, care for patients with special needs, conscious sedation and general anesthesia.

 

Periodontics/Periodontist

Periodontists typically study for an additional 3 years following dental school. During their clinical training, Periodontists are involved in learning both the treatment, as well as prevention techniques for periodontal diseases. Periodontists may also study advanced surgical techniques such as periodontal plastic surgery, and dental implant placement.According to the American Academy of Periodontology there are currently 52 institutions offer advanced training programs in periodontics in the United States

 

Periodontal Disease(also known as Periodontics)

Periodontal disease, also called “gum disease”, involves bacterial growth (a colorless film, called “plaque”) that gradually destroys the tissue surrounding the teeth. When plaque builds up on the teeth, it can result in gum irritation and possibly bleeding. If left untreated, bone and surrounding tissue will decay, resulting in loose teeth, or worse, tooth loss

 

Plaque

Deposit of saliva, food and bacteria that accumulates on the teeth in the from of a whitish, sticky substance.

 

Prosthodontics

The area of dentistry that deals with the replacement of missing teeth or jaw structures by bridges, dentures, or other artificial devices.

 

Prosthodontist

Specialist who must complete dental training (DDS) and then continue for an additional 3 years of specialty training in the area of prosthodontics (i.e. implants, esthetic and reconstructive dentistry). Cosmetic dentistry, implants and joint problems all fall under the field of prosthodontics

 

Root

The embedded portion of a tooth that connects it to the jaw.

 

Root Canal

The space inside the root of the tooth. This space contains the pulp.

Also, this is the term commonly used for root canal therapy, a procedure in which the nerve and tissues are removed from the canal and replaced with filling material.

 

Splint

Means of securing one or more loose teeth to one or more healthy, secure teeth.

 

 

Tartar

Calculus on the teeth; a hard, yellowish substance that attracts plaque.

 

TMJ

Temporomandibular joint syndrome and TMJ joint disorders are medical problems related to the jaw joint. The TMJ connects the lower jaw to the skull.

 

Veneer

A thin layer of plastic or porcelain applied to the outside of the tooth for aesthetic purposes.

 

Wisdom Teeth

Third molars; the last teeth to appear in the mouth. These teeth usually appear between the ages of 18 and 25. They are so called because they appear later in life when a person is physically mature.

 

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
I really felt welcomed at gentle dental. All the staff were so friendly and then inviting. They made my trip to the dentist comforting-because I was […]
Natalie B.
The dental hygienists did an excellent job on my teeth.
Dianna E.
Dr. "B" is an excellent dentist, root canal and crown prep completed with no pain or "discomfort", thank you.
James A.
Very satisfied with everything.
Anonymous
Words are hard to find to express how comfortable I was made by all the staff at Gentle Dental. It was a very positive experience Thank for taking […]
Karen P.
Everyone was very nice, I had a short wait time, and Dr. B was awesome. They provided me with good information and medications. I feel good tody.
Trevor J.
I love Gentle Dentle and Dr. B is the best dentist I ever had in my life and Amber Williams is the best dental assistant and it's a pleasure to have […]
Christine H.
October 1,2014 They made me very comfortable and relaxed...didn't know I was getting a tooth pulled that day I was very worried acting like a child […]
Tricia B.
Staff was friendly, informative and very welcoming.
Kenneth L.
Great! I was afraid to go to the dentist but my experience was great. I had 4 wisdom teeth pulled. I never had anything but a cleaning so when I […]
Demetria P.
I was very nervous going in as my teeth were in very poor status; however, Dr. Carpenter and his staff were extremely patient and reassuring along […]
Linda B.
Polite and professional
Candice M.
I was looking for a dentist office that felt like family and not just seeing and treating you as another dollar sign. I know every practice have a […]
Yvonne L.
I was very impressed with the service and how well I was treated.
Yvonne L.
The staff and Dr. B are the best!!!! Always kind and courteous!! Also prompt with getting things done!
Ta'kyla R.
Very professional,friendly. Excellent work thank you!
Anonymous
The doctor was very patient and informative
Anonymous
Atmosphere was very pleasant
Anonymous
Service was friendly and I was quick to be seen.
Gary T.
The dental work is great, my only complaint is the waiting time in the waiting room
Anonymous
I had my first visit to the Dentist on Saturday and it was fun. I am 3 years old and they people who seen me were funny and I want to come back.
Anonymous
I was very scared at first but April is the best,she really make's you feel comfortable with her outgoing personality.Very nice smart girl!!!!!
Casey H.
Good experience, and a nice staff.
Cassandra K.
Great staff and the hygienist is amazing.
Michele H.
The staff at The Wayne Gentle Dental go above and beyond to satisfy their patients! !! Dr. B is the greatest ever!!!!!!!
Rhonda N.
Quality care from knowledgable staff.
Anonymous
Great, exceeded expectation!
Holli H.
I was very pleased with the care, concern and professionalism of the staff. I have referred 2 other people since became a patient.
Anonymous
Excellent customer service everyone was very friendly and the dr. Took her time and explained everything to me.
Krystal S.
Fast and friendly quality service.
Anonymous
I am beyond pleased with the services I received from all of you. I have been mistreated and brushed off by a lot of dentist and you guys took me in […]
Sara C.
My visit was pleasant. I was scared at first but the staff was very friendly.
Megan M.
Quality service each visit.
Anonymous
Office Hours
Mon. – 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Tue. – 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wed. – 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Thu. – 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri. – 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sat. – 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Sun. – Closed
Phone: (734) 329-5284
Fax: (734) 722-4206
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For appointments, call us at: (734) 329-5284 or
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For appointments, call: (734) 329-5284
Office Hours
  • Monday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Tuesday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Thursday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Friday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Saturday 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Sunday Closed
Get in touch:
  • Phone: (734) 329-5284
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