Dental Definitions

woman pointing to smile

Replacing your teeth is a big deal, it can be confusing and scary, and it’s important you research all your options. As you read about dental implants, crowns, veneers, etc. you’ve probably come across words that maybe you’re not familiar with. Below are a list of dental definitions for words commonly used when discussing these procedures.

Glossary of Dental Definitions

4M DENTAL IMPLANTS/4M – The leading dental implant procedure. All aspects of your face, bone structure, and bite are taken into consideration with care taken to incorporate personality and quality of life.  A minimum of 4 implants can support an entire arch of teeth.

ABUTMENT – a connector placed on the top of the dental implant that the new tooth or crown is attached to; also, the teeth supporting a dental bridge or supporting a partial denture

ARCH – the crescent of teeth, there are two arches, an upper and a lower

BONE GRAFT – natural or synthetic bone is surgically placed onto bone that needs to be built up with extra strength or density

DENTAL BRIDGE – fills a gap left by a single tooth or multiple teeth by connecting to real teeth or implants on either side of the gap

DENTAL CROWN – a tooth shaped ’cap’ that entirely covers a decayed or otherwise weakened tooth; a crown is what the tooth attached to an implant is called

DENTAL IMPLANT – a cylindrical/tapered post, often made of titanium, surgically implanted into your jawbone to support a tooth or other dental prosthesis

DENTAL IMPRESSION – an imprint of your teeth, gums and mouth – an important tool to aid in many dental procedures

DENTURES – removable ’false teeth’, traditional dentures sit on your gums and held in place by natural suction created by the shape of the mouth or with the help of adhesives

EXTRACTION – a pulled tooth

IMPLANT SUPPORTED DENTURE – a denture that is supported by dental implants not your gums, these are usually snapped onto the implants for a secure fit

MANDIBULAR ARCH – the upper arch

MAXILLARY ARCH – the lower arch

OSSEOINTEGRATION – the process by which your jawbone fuses with the implant

PERIODONTAL – having to do with the gums, tissues and structures surrounding the teeth

PROSTHETIC  – the ‘gums and teeth’, also called the denture

SEDATION – receiving a sedative drug to help you feel calm or sleep

SNAP-ON DENTURES – (see implant supported denture)

TEMPORARIES – a temporary set of teeth you receive often between your implant placement and getting your final teeth

VENEERS – a thin shell placed over a tooth to improve size, color and shape

real 4M dental implants patient amel

 “To sum it all up, I absolutely love my new smile. Dr. Mohtashami and his team were awesome. I discovered that I’m not the easiest patient to treat. I had a lot to say about the design and the blending of my smile, and Dr. Mohtashami was patient, caring and professional about everything. He has a kind nature and a gentle touch. Thank you All Bright Dental for my new smile. I’ll be sure to share it with everyone I meet; especially face to face.”     ~Amel

real 4M dental implants patient peter

“Once the doctor knew where to position my bite, he made a temporary for my veneers and the migraines stopped immediately! A couple of weeks later the doctor placed my permanent veneers and my smile looks awesome. I love my new smile but I’m very relieved to be rid of the headaches and thrilled to be living in Las Vegas. Thank you Dr. Mohtashami.”     ~Peter