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Home > Glossary

Warrnambool Glossary of Terms

  • Appliance: Any removable dental restoration or orthodontic device.
  • Abscess: Acute or chronic localized inflammation, probably with a collection of pus, associated with tissue destruction and, frequently, swelling; usually secondary to infection.
  • Abutment: A tooth or implant fixture used as a support for prosthesis.
  • Base: Cement placed under a dental restoration to insulate the pulp (nerve chamber).
  • Bite: Relationship of the upper and lower teeth on closure (occlusion).
  • Braces: Devices used to gradually reposition teeth to a more favorable alignment.
  • Calcium: Chemical element needed for healthy teeth, bones and nerves.
  • Calculus: Hard residue, commonly known as tartar, that forms on teeth due to inadequate plaque control. Calculus teeth often are stained yellow or brown.
  • Canine teeth: There are two upper and land two ower canine (cuspid) teeth.
  • Deciduous Teeth: Commonly called “baby teeth,” the first set of teeth.
  • Dentin: Inner layer of tooth structure, immediately under the surface enamel.
  • Dentition: The arrangement of natural or artificial teeth in the mouth.
  • Diastema: A space between teeth.
  • Enamel : Enamel: Hard tissue covering the portion of tooth above the gum line
  • Eruption: The process of teeth protruding through the gums.
  • Extraction: Removal of a tooth.
  • Fistula: The channel that emanates pus from an infection site, which is a gum boil.
  • Forceps: An instrument used for removal of teeth.
  • Fossa: The valley found on the surface of posterior teeth.
  • Gingiva: Gum tissue.
  • Gum Recession: The exposure of dental roots due to shrinkage of the gums as a result of abrasion, periodontal disease or surgery.
  • Halitosis: Bad breath of oral or gastrointestinal origin.
  • Hematoma: The swelling of effused blood beneath tissue surface.
  • Implant: An artificial device that replaces the tooth root and may anchor an artificial tooth, bridge or denture.
  • Interocclusal: The space between upper and lower teeth.
  • Jacket: The crown for a front tooth, usually made of porcelain.
  • Lesion: Injury of bodily tissue due to infection, trauma or neoplasm.
  • Laminate: A thin plastic or porcelain veneer produced in a dental laboratory and then bonded to a tooth.
  • Malocclusion : Misalignment of upper and lower teeth.
  • Mandible: The lower jaw.
  • Margin: The interface between a restoration and tooth structure.
  • Maxilla: The upper jaw.
  • Nerve: The tissue that conveys sensation, temperature and position information to the brain.
  • Night Guard: An acrylic appliance used to prevent wear and damage to the temporomandibular joint caused by the grinding or gnashing of teeth during sleep
  • Occlusion: The relationship of the upper and lower teeth upon closure.
  • Onlay: A laboratory-produced restoration covering one or more cusps of a tooth.
  • Osseous: Boney.
  • Overbite: A vertical overlap of the front teeth.
  • Restoration: The replacement of a portion of a damaged tooth.
  • Retained Root: The partial root structure remaining in the jaw after extraction or fracture of a natural tooth.
  • Root: The tooth structure that connects the tooth to the jaw.