Dental Glosary

Glossary

Our dentists in Glendale and dentists in Van Nuys have gather dental definitions so patients learn more about dental terms.

B | C | D | FI  | L | M | N | O | PR | S | T | VX

BRIDGES

Bridges are made of false teeth, and are commonly used to replace one or more missing teeth. The false teeth are known as pontics. Bridges can be permanent or removable. If a patient has missing teeth, this can cause several problems that bridges can help prevent, such as bad bite, gum disease or tooth decay. Also it can improve your smile giving you a beautiful appearance that can last up to ten years or more with the correct care. Van Nuys Dentists use three types of dental bridges: Traditional bridges, Cantilever bridges and Maryland bonded bridges.

CAD/CAM DENTISTRY

CAD/CAM Dentistry, (Computer-Aided Design and Computer-Aided Manufacturing in Dentistry), is a technology that fabricates all-ceramic inlays, onlays, crowns, bridges and veneers in one visit. The CAD/CAM system is simple to manage, multitalented and precise. This system takes a picture of your tooth that should be fixed, the picture is entered in the computer and can be seen in 3D; it is sent to a milling machine that makes, for example, the filling or the ceramic inlays/onlays the patient needs. CAD/CAM dentistry can help reduce time in the dentist office, in particular the need to return for multiple visits.

CANTILEVER BRIDGES

Cantilever bridges are commonly used on front teeth when there is only one tooth on the side of the missing tooth.

CAPTEK CROWNS

A Captek (capillary technology) Crown is made out of a high purity gold, platinum group metals and silver. They are strong, durable, resistant and healthy. Captek Crowns match your natural tooth color and with the use advanced gold material they help to reduce the bacteria in your gums. They are a good option if you want to have a healthy and attractive smile.

COMPUTERIZED INJECTIONS

Computerized injections are a system used by dentists in Van Nuys to  control the amount and speed anesthesia given to the patient, resulting in a pain-free injection. Basically it is a computer assisted delivery system that is designed to introduce the fluid at such a slow rate that it is almost undetectable by the patient. The pain associated with injections is mostly caused by soft tissue expansion. The machine delivers drops within a definable parameter that prevents soft tissue expansion.

COSMETIC DENTISTRY

Cosmetic dentistry includes a variety of dental treatments focused on improving the appearance of your teeth and overall smile. Patients look for cosmetic dentistry because they want to change aspects of their teeth to have a more desirable smile and overall appearance.

There are different cosmetic dental procedures such as: dental fillings, dental bonding, teeth whitening, dental veneers, dental implants, dental crowns, orthodontics, gum reshaping, dental bridges, tooth contouring, dental caps, root canals, cosmetic gum surgery, reshaping dentures, to mention a few.

Cosmetic dentistry in Van Nuys offers a great variety of options to help people obtain a radiant, beautiful and attractive smile. A charming smile can improve a person's self-esteem and self-confidence as well as how they are perceived by others.

CROWNS

There are different factors that may contribute to erosion, cracking and breaking of your teeth, such as age, fillings or tooth decay. In cosmetic dentistry, crowns are used to solve these kinds of problems. Dental crowns cover the entire surface of the affected tooth adding strength, durability and stability.

Basically, there are three types of crowns our Van Nuys dentist uses: those made out of metal ideal for the back teeth; porcelain, recommended for front teeth; and porcelain fused with metal that are strong and have a natural appearance. Dental Crowns can help to improve the appearance and health of your teeth, and they provide protection for future cracks or tooth decay.

DENTAL IMPLANTS

A dental implant is the best solution for a missing tooth (or teeth). Dentists all over the word recommend this procedure to patients because it is simple, virtually painless, and efficient. The main advantage of dental implants is being able to perfectly replace lost teeth. The patient won't notice the difference between his natural teeth and the implant. It avoids having to wear prosthesis, and with proper care it will last forever.

Dental Implants are fabricated roots that are placed in the jawbone. The procedure doesn't hurt, however the patient may experience discomfort in the following days. The pain can be managed with common analgesics. Dental implants can enhance your self-esteem by providing a healthy and brighter smile that leaves you with an improved self-confidence.

DENTURES

Dentures are an artificial and removable extension that is used to cover the partial or total lack of teeth. Dentures can be removable or fixed and can also be complete or partial. Complete dentures are used on patients that are missing all of their teeth, while partial dentures are used when one or more natural teeth still remain. Dentures replace missing teeth and can help recover a beautiful and attractive smile providing a natural appearance. Dentures will last up to ten years.

FILLINGS

Fillings are materials dentists use to seal cavities after they clean out the decayed part of the tooth. They are also used to repair broken or cracked teeth. Fillings protect, preserve your teeth from expanding decay; they will also alleviate the teeth from any pain associated with this decay.

Amalgams (silver fillings) are usually placed in molars and are used in deep cavities. This type of filling is very resistant, strong and durable. It is the least expensive type of restorative material. Because of interest in cosmetics, composite fillings which are fillings made of a resin material that match the color of your natural teeth are being used more commonly in liu of amalgam. Composite fillings are also less sensitive to temperature changes. Gold fillings are another option sometimes used in the back molars because of their durability and stability.

FLUORIDE

Fluoride is a mineral that helps teeth against tooth decay protecting them from cavities. Using fluoride is considered important for having healthy and strong teeth. You can find fluoride in toothpaste, water, food, rocks, air, soil and plants. Our Van Nuys Dentists recommend the used of fluoride because it strengthens tooth enamel and makes the tooth more resistant to acid attacks from sugars and plaque bacteria, thus preventing tooth decay. If you visit your dentist, he/she may apply a fluoride treatment of higher dose than is found in commercial products to help give extra protection against tooth decay and/or to alleviate tooth sensitivity.

INVISALIGN

Invisalign is a new method used to straighten teeth without using traditional braces.; Clear aligners help correct the position of your teeth in a period of six to twelve months. The Invisalign method has many advantages. The aligners are clear so people won't notice you are wearing them. The clear molds are removable so you can take them out whenever you desire. You can eat, brush and floss with out any inconvenience. Furthermore, they are less irritating than traditional braces because they are not made of metal wires. Millions of patients, general dentists and orthodontists wear and recommend Invisalign.

IV SEDATION

Intravenous sedation (IV Sedation) also known as sleep dentistry is a procedure in which the dentists use a proven, safe medication to keep the patient relaxed while he/she completes the dental procedure. This drug is injected with a thin needle into a vein; it can be injected in the arm or in the back of your hand. The patient will remain conscious and will be able to respond to the dentist at all times, but will be much more relaxed.

LUMINEERS

Lumineers is a brand name for a type of veneer. Cosmetic dentists recommend lumineers because they are safe, painless, strong and thin. If a patient has chips, cracks, uneven tooth alignment, spacing between teeth, worn and discolored enamel or stained teeth, Lumineers is the solution they need to have a perfect, beautiful and radiant smile.

MARYLAND BRIDGES

Maryland Bridges are made of a false tooth fused by a metal band. This type of bridge is commonly used when there are front gaps.

NITROUS OXIDE SEDATION

Nitrous oxide sedation is a non-toxic and colorless gas that helps people overcome their anxieties. This Nitrous oxide is also known as laughing gas; it is safe, doesn't irritate and it removes by itself. Dentists use this gas on patients that need to be relaxed while they execute the dental procedure, particularly children. The patient stays completely conscious and can respond to the dentist at all times.

ORAL CONSCIOUS SEDATION

Oral conscious sedation consists of taking one sedative pill one hour before the dental appointment. This drug makes the patients feel free of anxiety and fears, helping them to relax. This safe pill may last up to six or seven hours; the patient is completely conscious and can respond to the dentist's instructions. Common oral sedation medications are: Halcion, Valium, Dalmane and Versed.

PERIODONTAL TREATMENT (GUM DISEASE)

Periodontal treatment is performed when a patient has gum disease. This disease is caused by plaque and tartar which are bacteria and particles that are deposited on teeth. When bacteria causes inflammation in the gums or an infection it is called Gingivitis. This can cause red and swollen gums, pain, bleeding and itching. You can cure gingivitis by exercising good dental hygiene; brushing and flossing your teeth correctly multiple times throughout everyday, and visiting a professional (dental hygienist) regularly. If the gingivitis is not taken care of correctly, it can become periodontitis. Periodontitis is an inflammation of the gums around the tooth. Plaque accumulates below the gums affecting the tissues that surround and support the teeth, causing them to fall or loosen out and supporting bone to be lost.

PORCELAIN CROWN

Porcelain crowns cover a tooth and restore it to its normal color, size and shape, improving its appearance. They are used when fillings can’t solve the dental problem. Cosmetic dentists use porcelain crowns in the because their appearance a more like a real tooth than their metal counterparts. They can be used in the front or back teeth to give a more natural appearance.

PORCELAIN FUSED TO METAL

Porcelain fused to metal is a crown with a metal base and a porcelain cap. It is strong and resistant. The main disadvantage of PFM’s to all porcelain is that sometimes a dark line can be seen in the bottom edge of the crown.

ROOT CANAL - ENDODONTISTS

Root canal therapy is a treatment that can help save your teeth from extraction. This procedure is performed when the nerve and vessel in the interior of the tooth is injured or infected. The dentist will clean ducts, apply disinfectant inside the tooth and fill it with resin or gutta-percha. The root canal therapy will leave your tooth clean, uninfected and without any pain. When this treatment is completed, a crown is placed on the tooth. No pain is suffered as the dentists use local anesthesia.

SEDATION DENTISTRY

Many people are afraid to go to the dentist because of all the pain and suffering that had been traditionally associated with dentistry. Sedation dentistry is a type of anesthesia used to make your anxiety disappear. Dentists in Van Nuys are using sedation dentistry with nervous patients, or on those who want to be relaxed (almost asleep), while the dental procedure is being executed. There are different sedation methods such as: intravenous sedation, nitrogen oxide sedation, oral medications and general anesthesia. With Sedation dentistry you won't feel any discomfort. You will be completely relaxed and your smile is going to look attractive without any pain or suffering.

TEETH WHITENING - ZOOM WHITENING

If you want to have a brighter, whiter and more radiant smile don't waste your money with cheap whitening methods. Zoom Whitening is the best technique. Zoom whitens your teeth in less than an hour. If you smoke, drink wine, coffee, tea or cola chances are your teeth are going to develop a brownish or yellowish tint. The Zoom Whitening procedure provides an average improvement of up to eight or ten shades. The method, which is performed by a professional dentist, is long lasting, painless, and safe. This 45-minutes procedure uses hydrogen peroxide gel and an ultraviolet lamp. You can relax while Zoom makes your smile radiant and makes you look and feel younger.

TMJ

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ), occurs when the joint that attaches the upper jaw and lower jaw is not working properly. People with TMJ may have a clicking sound when opening or closing their mouth impeding the correct functionality. This syndrome can cause headaches, tooth sensibility, neck, shoulder and mandibular muscle pain. Temporomandibular disorder affects the muscles that control chewing and the articulation of the jaw.

TRADITIONAL BRIDGES

As the name states, are the most common bridges dentists use on patients. They are made up of a pontic (false tooth) in between two porcelain crowns.

VENEERS

Veneers are thin laminates designed to cover the front surface of teeth. They are used to improve your smile. They help with uneven tooth alignment, spaces between teeth, chips, cracks, worn and discolored enamel or stained teeth. There are two types of veneers: one is made out of porcelain and the other is made out of acrylic resin. This thin shell can create a fantastic and bright smile; and with proper care, can last up to fifteen years. Veneers are an excellent choice in cosmetic dentistry. Patients love them because they can see the results in their appearance immediately!

X-RAYS

Dental X-Rays are pictures of the teeth and surrounding bone that dentists in Van Nuys use to evaluate and diagnose problems that could be present on patients' teeth and cannot be detected by a simple oral examination. With X-Rays dentists can diagnose cavities, fractures, tooth decay, bone loss, gum disease, infections, tumors, etc. Because of the changing conditions of the mouth, it is important to update X-Rays as is recommended by the dental professional.