7 Common Dental Terms & Procedures Explained

Visiting the dentist can be frightening because it almost feels like they are speaking a different language. When the dentist tells his assistant that he is going to have to put a crown on your upper second bicuspid while his hands are in your mouth, it’s hard not to feel at least a little nervous. Here is a quick guide to give you a little more confidence in the dentist chair.

Dental Crowns

A crown is a cover that can be put on your tooth if it has been damaged in some way. It restores the tooth to its original shape, size, and function. The crown also helps to strengthen your tooth and improve it cosmetically. The crown is cemented over what is remaining of the tooth that is sticking above the gums.


Fillings are a durable material that is packed into holes in your mouth that are left from tooth decay, cracks, or chips. The filling is a tooth-colored putty that bonds tightly to your teeth. Fillings are most often used to treat those dreaded cavities. So long as the cavity is caught soon enough you should only need a filling to fix the problem, instead of an entire crown.

Dental Cleanings

Though you may be perfect at brushing and flossing it is still recommended that you get a thorough deep dental cleaning every 6 months. Daily dental hygiene care still misses stubborn germs and bacteria. These missed spots build up over time and can cause cavities. To eliminate the chances of tooth decay, get a deep cleaning from your dental clinic on a regular basis.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth. A titanium post is put into your jawbone and then a dental crown is cemented to the post. The post will actually fuse to your jawbone over time. Your new post and crown will look, function, and feel just like your other teeth.


A denture is a dental appliance that can be removed. It fills in teeth and is custom made for each patient. It improves your smile and helps with eating and talking.


This is when a tooth needs to be completely pulled out. Grove City Dental gives a list of reasons that teeth would need to be removed including an overcrowded mouth or overly decayed teeth.

Dental Sealants

A dental sealant is like a barrier between your teeth and dangerous plaque and acid. Sealant is a clear coating that is placed over the part of the tooth that you bite with. It fills in the grooves and cracks in your teeth protecting them from germs getting stuck in those difficult to reach places. It is not a necessity but works as a preventative measure for tooth decay.

If your dentist or dental hygienist do use a word that is unfamiliar to you, just ask them for a quick explanation. They are usually more than happy to have something to talk about to fill the silence while they awkwardly have their hands crammed in your mouth.


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