Going to an appointment can be confusing for patients who aren’t too familiar with “dental vocabulary.” The field has many aspects and varieties of treatments. To promote the best outcomes, each patient must comprehend all of his (or her) dentist’s explanations and instructions.
The office of Merrick Dental Arts is committed to providing all of our patients with excellent attention and care. During your initial appointment, you will tell us what you want us to accomplish. We’ll then evaluate your situation, answer all of your questions, and explain your options clearly and concisely. Here’s are some common terms.
Primary Teeth: Baby teeth, also called deciduous or milk teeth.
Eruption: The process in which baby and permanent teeth appear through the gums.
Mixed dentition: The dental developmental stage in children ages 6 to 12 when they have a mix of primary (baby) and permanent teeth.
Plaque: A colorless, sticky film made up of bacteria, food particles and saliva that constantly forms in the mouth. Combined with sugars it forms an acid that endangers teeth and gums.
Periodontal tissue: The hard and soft supporting structures around the teeth.
Bruxism: Grinding of the teeth, usually during sleep. It can promote pain and irregular tooth wear.
Gum disease: A chronic infection of the gums due to a build-up of plaque. Untreated gum disease can lead to tooth loss. The three stages of gum disease are gingivitis, periodontitis and advanced periodontitis.
A crown: A cap made of metals, porcelain, resin and/or ceramics that covers a tooth that had severe decay, was badly discolored, or was broken or otherwise misshapen.
Enamel: The hard, white outer layer of a tooth. Enamel does not regenerate.
Decalcification: White marks on the teeth that could become cavities. They’re caused by poor brushing habits and drinking sugary and acidic beverages.
A congenitally missing tooth: An inherited condition in which a permanent tooth doesn’t develop under a primary tooth.
An impaction: A tooth that’s erupted only partially or not at all.
Supernumerary teeth: An inherited condition in which someone develops more teeth than usual. They can interfere with the normal pattern of tooth eruption, contribute to an orthodontic problem and often need to be removed.
We at the office of Merrick Dental Arts are experts in our field. Our goal is to exceed all of your orthodontic expectations. We pride ourselves on our never-ending ability to provide superior patient care. For more information about our practice and how we can help you, please call us to schedule an appointment.