Dental Terminology

Click on a letter for the list of terms beginning with that letter. This glossary contains a list of words or terms that may help you get a handle on the world of dental care.



pertaining to or around the lip.

Least Expensive Alternative Treatment (LEAT)

a limitation in a dental benefit plan that will only allow benefits for the least expensive treatment. Also referred to as Least Expensive Professionally Acceptable Alternative Treatment (LEPAAT).


an injury or wound; area of diseased tissue.


an obligation for a specified amount or action.


restrictive conditions stated in a dental benefit contract, such as age, length of time covered, and waiting periods, which affect an individual’s or group’s coverage. The contract may also exclude certain benefits or services, or it may limit the extent or conditions under which certain services are provided. (see Exclusions.)

Limited Oral Evaluation

limited oral evaluation - problem focused: An evaluation limited to a specific oral health problem or complaint. This may require interpretation of information acquired through additional diagnostic procedures. Definitive procedures may be required on the same date as the evaluation. Typically, patients receiving this type of evaluation present with a specific problem and/or dental emergencies, trauma, acute infection, etc.

Line Angle

an angle formed by the junction of two planes; used to designate the junction of two surfaces of a tooth, or of two walls of a tooth cavity preparation.


pertaining to or around the tongue; surface of the tooth directed toward the tongue; opposite of facial.

Local Anesthesia

see Anesthesia.


a site or location.