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.



a disc or plate which closes an opening; a prosthesis that closes an opening in the palate.

Occlusal Radiograph

an intraoral radiograph made with the film being held between the occluded teeth.


any contact between biting or chewing surfaces of maxillary (upper) and mandibular (lower) teeth.

Odontogenic Cyst

see Cyst.


adjustment of tooth length, size, and/or shape; includes removal of enamel projections.


an indirect restoration made outside the oral cavity that overlays a cusp or cusps of the tooth, which is then luted to the tooth.

Open Reduction

re-approximation of fractured bony segments accomplished through cutting the adjacent soft tissues and bone to allow direct access.


removal of the operculum.


the flap of tissue over an unerupted or partially erupted tooth.


pertaining to the mouth.

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon

a dental specialist whose practice is limited to the diagnosis, surgical and adjunctive treatment of diseases, injuries, deformities, defects and esthetic aspects of the oral and maxillofacial regions.

Oral Pathology

the specialty of dentistry and pathology concerned with recognition, diagnosis, investigation and management of diseases of the oral cavity, jaws, and adjacent structures.


a dental specialist whose practice is limited to the interception and treatment of malocclusion of the teeth and their surrounding structures.


functional relationship of maxilla and mandible.


surgical procedure that modifies the configuration of bone.


surgical cutting of bone.


a removable prosthetic device that overlies and may be supported by retained tooth roots or implants.