Learn the Meanings of Common Dental Terminology

Archive for dentist

Idaho Surgical Arts

Dr. Eric W. Nelson, M.D., D.D.S., P.A
115 West Main Street Ste. 201 Boise, ID 83702
Phone: (208) 342-1551
Website: idahosurgicalarts.com

Weissman Dental

Dr. Sheryl K. Weissman, DDS
833 Southwest 11th Ave, Suite #514, Portland, OR 97205
Phone: (503) 274.2222
Website: cecilriterdds.com

Jeffrey C Derickson, DDS

Jeffrey C Derickson, DDS
762 North Country Club RD. Tucson, AZ 85716
Phone: (520) 327-5993
Website: drderickson.com

Thompson Dental

Dr. Donna Thompson, DDS, PC & Dr Jennifer Thompson, DDS
1212 East 20th Street, Farmington, NM 87401
Phone: (505) 327-6233
Website: drdonnathompsondds.com

Timothy M Kelly DDS

Dr. Timothy Kelly, DMD, PA
1441 Carlisle Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110
Phone: (505) 256-1770
Website: drtimkelly.com


An abscess is the body’s defensive system at work. Pus collects under the skin where a bacterial infection has started. An abscess wall is formed around the pus in an attempt to keep the pus from infecting healthy cells nearby. Usually caused by extensive periodontal disease.

Described as a sharp and or throbbing pain, pressure on the tooth may cause severe pain. Swelling can also appear at the base of the tooth, the gum and also the check. Applying cold packs might help, but you should see a dentist right away.

Left untreated an abscess can perforate bone and may spread infection by leaking pus in the throat and air passage causing suffocation. Run away infection can cause complications with other organs.

Tattoos on Teeth

While some tattooed teeth are just decals for fun at parties, others are permanent and can be any form of dental decoration. Some say this is the hot trend in Japan, but is goes further back than that. The ancient Mayans practiced teeth filing and encrustation many thousands of years ago. Ancient asian and african cultures also decorated teeth.

Watch this YouTube video to see how far this technique has come.

Popular amounts wrappers is encrusting teeth with gold or diamonds. Now that’s putting your money where your mouth is. However, most dental tattoos are designed on a metal ceramic cap or crown and not actually on the tooth itself.
The dentist himself, in most cases, will not be the artist so the actual artwork may be subcontracted out.


Dental plaque is a biofilm that adheres to the surface of teeth. Biofilms are an accumulation of microorganisms that also contain bacterial cells that can infect gum and bone tissues. Colonies of these microorganisms adhere and develop stronger bonds over time on the surface of the tooth. Plaque can cause periodontal disease and needs to be scraped off by a dentist at least once year or more.


This is a disease of the gums. Plaque is material that forms on teeth that traps bacteria on the tooth causing it to breakdown and decay. At the base of the tooth hard deposits called tartar which also have bacteria trapped in will irritate the gums causing inflammation and infection.

Most everyone has some degree of gingivitis as it can be caused by illness, poor hygiene, hormonal chains or diabetes. If you brush your teeth hard enough to cause your gums to bleed or if you have braces there is a good chance that you may need to consider steps to reduce your gingivitis.

Teeth cleaning from your dentist will help remove plaque. Increased attention to oral hygiene and the use of antibacterial mouth wash will help gums heal and keep gingivitis from getting out of control and causing more serious periodontal disease.

Wisdom Teeth

Most people get a 3rd and final set of molars called Wisdom Teeth in their later teens to early twenties. If you are lucky your wisdom teeth will come in and give your mouth a full set of teeth, but for most, wisdom teeth come through misaligned and need to be taken out. Some people are really lucky and don’t have wisdom teeth at all.

Impacted wisdom teeth are teeth that are trapped in-between the soft tissue and the jaw bone. If the tooth only breaks through the gum partially it exposes the gum to bacteria and infection.

Your dentist can show you if you have wisdom teeth and where they are located with an x-ray image. A dentist may also recommend to have the wisdom teeth removed before they become a problem. Oral surgery is required to remove wisdom teeth. Recovery time varies depending on the position of the teeth to be extracted and the age of the patient.

A local anesthetic is used, but you may want to request a strong sedative if you have anxiety about the procedure.

The patient will most like experience facial swelling around where the teeth were pulled. Pain medication may be taken like Tylenol, but stronger pain relievers may be prescribed by your dentist or surgeon. Recovery may take a few days.