Glossary of Dental Terms
Tooth decay, also known as dental decay or dental caries, is when acids in your mouth dissolve the outer layers of your teeth.
- Dental Prophylaxis
Dental Prophylaxis is the scaling and polishing of teeth carried out regularly to prevent and control peridontal disease.
Dentin is the chief substance of the teeth, surrounding the tooth pulp and covered by enamel on the crown and by cementum on the roots.
Dentition refers to the number and kind of teeth and their arrangement in the mouth.
Dentures are prosthetic devices constructed to replace missing teeth, and which are supported by surrounding soft and hard tissues of the oral cavity.
- Denture Base
The denture base is the part of a denture that rests on the foundation tissues and to which teeth are attached.
A Diastema is a gap or space between two teeth.
- Direct Pulp Cap
A procedure where a medicated dental dressing or cement is applied to an exposed pulp.
- Direct Restoration
A restoration prepared for immediate application to the tooth or cavity, as opposed to one prepared on a diagnostic cast and applied later.
- Displaced Tooth
A displaced tooth is any tooth that has been pushed out of it's normal position.
Distal refers to the direction towards the last tooth in each quadrant of a dental arch, as opposed to mesial, which refers to the direction towards the anterior midline.
- Dry Mouth
Dry mouth occurs when the saliva glands stop producing enough saliva. Please see our article on dry mouth for more information on the symptoms, causes and treatment.
- Dry Socket
Dry socket is a problem that can occur after you have a tooth extracted. Usually, after a tooth is removed, a blood clot forms in the socket, or hole where the tooth was. As the area heals, bone and gum tissue gradually replace this blood clot. If the blood clot gets washed away, the bone is exposed to air and food causing a dry socket.