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Female dentist with x-ray picture

Do you ever find yourself at a loss when the dentist is talking about terms that you don’t understand? Here are five basic terms to familiarize yourself with the dental lingo.


  1. Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is another term for gum disease, or inflammation and irritation of the gums. Ranging from mild gingivitis to severe periodontitis, it is important to treat periodontal disease as early as possible. Without treatment, the jaw can deteriorate and teeth could fall out.

  1. Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry is dental work that is done while the patient is under the influence of medication. There are many types of sedation dentistry, such as general anesthesia, nitrous oxide, oral sedation pills, and IV sedation that is delivered into the vein.

  1. Veneers

Veneers are super thin porcelain shells that are attached to the front of teeth in order to improve the appearance of a smile. Veneers can enhance the color, size, or shape of the teeth.

  1. Caries

Dental caries refers to the decay of the tooth or bone.  Cavities are an example of dental caries.

  1. Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry includes any dental treatments that are designed to improve the appearance of a smile. This includes veneers, teeth whitening, and gum contouring.