Gentle Dental of Springfield
760 W Sproul Road, Suite 100, Springfield, PA 19064

Glossary of Dental Terms

Abscess

An infection in a tooth, often accompanied by swelling and inflammation.

 

Abutment

Tooth or tooth root that supports or stabilizes a bridge, denture, or other prosthetic appliance.

 

Adhesive Dentistry

Process in which composite resin is adhered to the existing enamel of a tooth. This can be used to repair or improve the appearance of a tooth.

 

Allergy

An abnormal reaction of the body to a drug or foreign substance.

 

Anesthesia

General or local insensibility to pain, induced by certain interventions or drugs to permit the performance of surgery or other painful procedures.

 

Anterior Teeth

The six upper and lower front teeth. These consist of incisors and cuspids.

 

Bicuspid or pre-molar

Any of eight teeth located in pairs on each side of the upper and lower jaws between the cuspids and molars.

 

Bonding

A procedure for restoring the discolored or damaged surface of a tooth by coating it with composite resin that adheres to the existing enamel.

 

Bridge

An artificial replacement of a missing tooth or teeth, attached by cement or composite resin to natural teeth or roots adjacent to the space.

 

Crown

1.             The part of a tooth that is covered by enamel and not covered by gum tissue.

2.             An artificial substitute, as of gold or porcelain, which entirely covers the anatomical crown of a tooth

 

Cuspid or canine

The four pointed or conical teeth also commonly known as ‘eyeteeth’.

 

DDS

Doctor of Dental Surgery

 

Dentin

Hard tissue that forms the inner layer of the structure of a tooth and is situated beneath the surface enamel

 

Dental implant

A metal screw (often titanium) that is surgically anchored in the gums or jawbone to support a dental appliance or replace a missing tooth.

 

Denture

An artificial replacement of some or all of the natural teeth

 

Disease of the gums

Periodontal disease (also called “Gum Disease” or “Periodontal Disease”) involves bacterial growth (a colorless film, called “plaque”) that gradually destroys the tissue surrounding the teeth. If not removed, plaque builds up on the teeth and ultimately irritates the gums and causes bleeding. If left untreated, bone and surrounding tissue will decay, resulting in loose teeth, or worse, tooth loss. More than 75 percent of Americans over 35 have some form of gum disease.

 

DMD

Doctor of Dental Medicine

 

Enamel

The hard layer covering of the crown of a tooth.

 

Endodontics

The area of dentistry concerned with the treatment of the dental pulp or nerve of the tooth.

 

Endodontists

Endodontists are dentists who have additionally 2-3 years of training following dental school and typically limit their practice to root canal therapy and root canal surgery. Very often Endodontists earn a graduate degree (Master’s degree) as well as specialized certified training. While some Dentists perform root canals themselves, generally Dentists will refer a patient requiring Endodontics to a trained Endodontist.

 

Filling

A substance, such as metal, porcelain or resin, that is used to replace lost tooth structured caused by decay.

 

Gingivitis

Inflammation of the gums.

 

Halitosis

Bad breath

 

Incisors

The four front teeth in either the upper or lower jaw.

 

Malocclusion

Faulty contact between the upper and lower teeth, causing these teeth to be misaligned.

 

Mandible

The lower jaw

 

Maxilla

The upper jaw

 

Molars

Teeth for grinding food, located in the back of the mouth on either side.

 

Nerve (root) canal

Hollow passage inside of a tooth, inhabited by nerve tissue.

 

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Surgery to correct a wide spectrum of diseases or injuries upper jaw or face.

 

Oral Surgeon

An Oral Surgeon (“Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon” or OMFS) first receive their training in dentistry and then continue further specialization in treating the areas of the mouth, jaws and the face as well as associated structures. While Oral Surgeons often additionally go on to study medicine and may go so far to take a Medical Degree (MD), a medical degree is not required for an OMFS to practice. Oral & maxillofacial surgery is universally recognized as a one of the nine specialties of dentistry.

 

Orthodontics

Orthodontics is an area of dentistry that involved the treatment of improper bites (“malocclusions”) making use of a variety of devises, most commonly, braces, to move teeth or adjust underlying bone. The word comes from the Greek words ortho meaning straight and odons meaning tooth.

 

Orthodontist

Orthodontists first complete 4 years of dental school training (DDS). Orthodontists additionally complete 2-3 of residency training focused on the specific treatment and realignment of misaligned teeth with devises including braces, retainers and other methods.

 

Overbite

Condition in which the upper incisors overlap the lower ones.

 

Pediatric Dentistry

The practice of dentistry on children.

 

Pediatric Dentist

Pediatric Dentists (or Pediodontists) study an additional 2 years in a residency program following their graduation from dental school. As specified by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, Pediatric Dentists study advanced diagnostic and surgical procedures, along with child psychology and clinical management, oral pathology, child-related pharmacology, radiology, child development, management of oral/facial trauma, care for patients with special needs, conscious sedation and general anesthesia.

 

Periodontics/Periodontist

Periodontists typically study for an additional 3 years following dental school. During their clinical training, Periodontists are involved in learning both the treatment, as well as prevention techniques for periodontal diseases. Periodontists may also study advanced surgical techniques such as periodontal plastic surgery, and dental implant placement.According to the American Academy of Periodontology there are currently 52 institutions offer advanced training programs in periodontics in the United States

 

Periodontal Disease(also known as Periodontics)

Periodontal disease, also called “gum disease”, involves bacterial growth (a colorless film, called “plaque”) that gradually destroys the tissue surrounding the teeth. When plaque builds up on the teeth, it can result in gum irritation and possibly bleeding. If left untreated, bone and surrounding tissue will decay, resulting in loose teeth, or worse, tooth loss

 

Plaque

Deposit of saliva, food and bacteria that accumulates on the teeth in the from of a whitish, sticky substance.

 

Prosthodontics

The area of dentistry that deals with the replacement of missing teeth or jaw structures by bridges, dentures, or other artificial devices.

 

Prosthodontist

Specialist who must complete dental training (DDS) and then continue for an additional 3 years of specialty training in the area of prosthodontics (i.e. implants, esthetic and reconstructive dentistry). Cosmetic dentistry, implants and joint problems all fall under the field of prosthodontics

 

Root

The embedded portion of a tooth that connects it to the jaw.

 

Root Canal

The space inside the root of the tooth. This space contains the pulp.

Also, this is the term commonly used for root canal therapy, a procedure in which the nerve and tissues are removed from the canal and replaced with filling material.

 

Splint

Means of securing one or more loose teeth to one or more healthy, secure teeth.

 

 

Tartar

Calculus on the teeth; a hard, yellowish substance that attracts plaque.

 

TMJ

Temporomandibular joint syndrome and TMJ joint disorders are medical problems related to the jaw joint. The TMJ connects the lower jaw to the skull.

 

Veneer

A thin layer of plastic or porcelain applied to the outside of the tooth for aesthetic purposes.

 

Wisdom Teeth

Third molars; the last teeth to appear in the mouth. These teeth usually appear between the ages of 18 and 25. They are so called because they appear later in life when a person is physically mature.

 

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
I had a great visit. Everyone is so professional and my cleaning was great. I can't wait until my next visit!
Megan R.
Sadly, I have never enjoyed going to the dentist, Gentle Dental of Springfield makes your visit comfortable. Everyone is always pleasant....you can […]
Carolyn T.
It was awesome the best Dentist I been to yet everyone was helpful and I loved the Dentist that I had I really think I finally found one that I liked […]
Michelle F.
My experience was great. Staff was great, no issue or problems. I actually look forward to my dental appointments.
Richard C.
I have a fear of dentist but the staff was knowledgeable, friendly, patient, and best of all created a minimum of pain.
Michele R.
Friendly, courteous service. I will recommend to family and friends.
Anita B.
Natalie did a great job as usual with no pain.
Edwin J.
I love Gentle Dental in Springfield. My two eldest children go there and they are wonderful with them. They don't rush through things are very […]
Carmen M.
Natalie at springfield office is great! thorough, gentle and caring.
Edwin J.
Quick and efficient.
Susan L.
I had a toothache and they took me right away! The staff and dentist were excellent.
Madeline P.
I Thank you for the work that was done on Tuesday everything was well.I was a little nervous but you made me feel comfortable Thank you.
Rhonda W.
My tooth flared up at 2 am, I hoped the pain would pass. Swelling took place and the pain increased. On a sat. morning @ 11 am I called for an appt. […]
Kevin C.
Very friendly, would definitely return.
Shikina M.
I didn't have any work done yet but my new patient appointment was excellent. The receptionist was friendly and efficient and the doctor and his […]
Wendy F.
I think everyone at this Gentle Dental location is wonderful!
Cynthia M.
Staff is excellent, professional, but also puts you at ease. They don't make you feel badly or scold you for not taking good care of your teeth.
Garrett N.
Everyone was very friendly. Relaxed and pain free!
Michelle B.
Really appreciated the office call the day after my appointment, just to check on me.
Susan L.
I have gone to Gentle Dental for my dental care for over 10 years and I already have been recommending their wonderful dental care to family members […]
Deborah A.
The Office staff, Rudy, and Dr Hinrichsen make going to the dentist not so bad at all. Great team here that makes you feel comfortable. Thank you for […]
Mark G.
Friendly, knowledgeable, caring, and helpful doctor and staff.
Jason G.
The staff is very helpful and respectful. They are very good with accomodating and I am glad to use this facility as my provider.
Stacey B.
Everyone there in the Springfield, PA practice takes the time to explain every procedure, every step, and all are very pleasant and make you feel […]
Nancy H.
This is a fast and efficient dental operation. The cleanliness of the rooms are impressive. Everyone is so friendly!
Beverly B.
The staff at Gentle Dental in Springfield is very professional, pleasant and caring to their patients.
Jewlette S.
Everyone is very nice!
Jeanette R.
Excellent service and staff.
Anonymous
Great experience. Doctor listened to my concerns and was very thorough.
Richard C.
Great service and excellent workmanship. Courteous and friendly staff, all very professional and knowledgeable. Nice and clean waiting room and […]
Harry W.
Quick, efficient, quality care.
Anonymous
great fast service and nice people.
Christopher K.
The staff at Gentle Dental was so amazingly friendly, knowledgeable and helpful!
Tatyana B.
They were great. Kind and pleasant. And did a great job on my teeth.
Michelle B.
It was my first time there. Everyone was very courteous and helpful. Evaluated my needs and charted a long term program of care. Helped me with a […]
Charles S.
Everyone there is kind. Felt no pain.
Michelle B.
Excellent dentistry, very nice people.
Anonymous
The dentist & staff are extremely personable & genuine.
Jennifer S.
The wait was minimal, the staff was friendly and they were able to do my cleaning and fill my cavities in one visit. Highly recommended!
Helen G.
Great service. Very welcoming and warm people. I was scared to death. I hate the dentist and they made it not so scary.
Erica C.
All the staff are extremely nice and will work with you to make you experience the best they can!!
Jaclyn B.
Staff was great, no lectures about my dental hygiene.
Garrett N.
Everyone from the moment I first walked in was extremely friendly! As someone who gets a little nervous about going to the dentist, they put me at […]
Anonymous
Very pleasant atmosphere and people are very attentive. They make you feel very comfortable.
Nancy H.
It was a very pleasant experience. All of the staff were very kind and accommodating, and made sure that I was kept up to date on all the information […]
Ivy D.
Natalie is a great hygienist!!!
Maria H.
Best dentist ever...Painless root canal, friendly staff and peaceful environment...
Taplah K.
Excellent care, especially for an emergency visit.
Theresa M.
nice and gentle
Joan D.
Friendly staff...always a pleasant experience.
Carolyn T.
Office Hours
Mon. – 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tue. – 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wed. – 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thu. – 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri. – 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Sat. – Closed
Sun. – Closed
Phone: (484) 810-1247
Fax: (610) 544-8882
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For appointments, call: (484) 810-1247
Office Hours
  • Monday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Thursday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Friday 8:00 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
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  • Phone: (484) 810-1247
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