Brad M. Freedman, DDS & Associates
4604-D Pinecrest Office Park Dr, Alexandria, VA 22312

Glossary of Dental Terms

A

Amalgam – Material made from mercury and other alloy mixtures used to restore a drilled portion of a tooth.
Anesthesia – Medications used to relieve pain.
Anterior teeth – Front teeth. Also called incisors and cuspids.
Arch – The upper or lower jaw.

B

Baby bottle tooth decay – Caused by sugary substances in breast milk and some juices, which combine with saliva to form pools inside the baby?s mouth.
Bicuspids – Back teeth used for chewing.
Bitewings – X-rays that help a dentist diagnose cavities.
Bonding – Application of tooth-colored resin materials to the surface of the teeth.
Bridge – A fixed or removable appliance that replaces lost teeth.
Bruxism – Teeth grinding.

C

Calculus – A sticky substance (also called tartar) that has hardened.
Canal – The narrow chamber inside the tooth?s root.
Canines – Also called cuspids.
Canker sore – One that occurs on the delicate tissues inside your mouth. A canker sore is usually light-colored at its base and can have a red exterior border.
Caries – Another term for decay, which causes cavities.
Cold sore – Usually occurs on the outside of the mouth, usually on or near the nose or lips. A cold sore is contagious because it is caused by the herpes simplex virus, and it is usually painful and filled with fluid.
Composite filling – Tooth colored restorations, also known as resin fillings.
Composite resin – A tooth-colored resin combined with silica or porcelain and used as a restoration material.
Contouring – The process of reshaping teeth.
Crown – An artificial cover that is placed on the top of a tooth following restoration.
Cusps – The pointed parts on top of the back teeth?s chewing surface.
Cuspids – Front teeth that typically have a protruding edge.

D

Dentin – The tooth layer underneath the enamel.
Denture – A removable set of teeth.

E

Endodontics – A form of dentistry that addresses problems affecting the tooth?s root or nerve.

F

Fluoride – A naturally occurring substance added to water, toothpastes and some rinses and used for strengthening the tooth?s enamel.
Fluorosis – A harmless over-exposure to fluoride and resulting sometimes in tooth discoloration.

G

Gingiva – Another word for gum tissue.
Gingivitis – A minor disease of the gums caused by plaque.
Gum disease – An infection of the gum tissues. Also called periodontal disease.

I

Impacted teeth – A condition in which a tooth fails to erupt or only partially erupts.
Implant – A permanent appliance used to replace a missing tooth.
Incisor – Front teeth with cutting edges; located in the center or on the sides near the front.
Inlay – An artificial filling made of various materials, including porcelain, resin, or gold.

L

Laminate veneer – A shell that is bonded to the enamel of a front tooth. The shell is usually thin and made from porcelain resin.
Laser – Light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. A single wavelength beam of highly concentrated energy.

M

Malocclusion – Bad bite relationship.
Mandible – The lower jaw.
Maxilla – The upper jaw.
Molar – Usually the largest teeth, near the rear of the mouth. Molars have large chewing surfaces.

N

Neuromuscular Dentistry – are more than the aches and pains felt in around the neck and head that are associated with your teeth and jaw.

O

Onlay – A filling designed to protect the chewing surface of a tooth.
Orthodontics – A field of dentistry that deals with tooth and jaw alignment.
Overdenture – A non-fixed dental appliance applied to a small number of natural teeth or implants.

P

Palate – Roof of the mouth.
Partial denture – A removable appliance that replaces teeth. Also called a bridge.
Pedodontics – A field of dentistry that deals with children?s teeth.
Perio pocket – An opening formed by receding gums.
Periodontal disease – Infection of the gum tissues. Also called gum disease.
Periodontist – A dentist who treats diseases of the gums.
Permanent teeth – The teeth that erupt after primary teeth. Also called adult teeth.
Plaque – A sticky, colorless substance that covers the teeth after sleep or periods between brushing.
Posterior teeth – The bicuspids and molars. Also called the back teeth.
Primary teeth – A person?s first set of teeth. Also called baby teeth or temporary teeth.
Prophylaxis – The act of cleaning the teeth.
Prosthodontics – The field of dentistry that deals with artificial dental appliances.
Pulp – The inner tissues of the tooth containing blood, nerves and connective tissue.

R

Receding gum – A condition in which the gums separate from the tooth, allowing bacteria and other substances to attack the tooth?s enamel and surrounding bone.
Resin filling – An artificial filling used to restore teeth. Also called a composite filling.
Root canal – A procedure in which a tooth?s nerve is removed and an inner canal cleansed and later filled.
Root planing – Scraping or cleansing of teeth to remove heavy buildup of tartar below the gum line.

S

Sealant – A synthetic material placed on the tooth?s surface that protects the enamel and chewing surfaces.

T

TMJ – Temporomandibular joint disorder. Health problems related to the jaw joint just in front of the ear.
Tarter – A hardened substance (also called calculus) that sticks to the tooth?s surface.

V

Veneer – A laminate applied or bonded to the tooth.

W

Whitening – A process that employs special bleaching agents for restoring the color of teeth.
Wisdom tooth – Third set of molars that erupt last in adolescence.

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
The examination was great,my tech Maria did a wonderful job.It was nice that that Dr Freedman came in to check to see how the exam was going.
Harold D.
Everything is great!
Galina A.
Great service and very attentive!
Mary S.
A great experience! The best I have had in many years. X-rays, through exam and cleaning. That’s why you go to the dentist. Not to bullied into whitening, braces, veneers, etc etc. They offer those […]
Drew W.
The dental hygienist, doctor, and front office staff are friendly. The dental hygienist did great at explaining everything. The front office staff was up front and able to answer questions about any […]
Justin H.
Brad is by far the best dentist in the area. The office is very efficient and the staff are very personable. Brad does a great job of listening to his patients and is very professional. Highly […]
Brian B.
Both Dr. Brad & Dr. Andrew are amazing! They are so friendly and patient! I’ve had a somewhat complicated dental adventure and they have been very supportive. It is clear that they want me to […]
Karina L.
My visits to Brad Freedman Office are always met with friendly smiles as well as great professional service. Always a comfort and pleasure to visit. I would most certainly recommend this office to my […]
Oscar J.
My fiance recommend Dr Friedman, as he has been his dentist for many years. The atmosphere is professional, clean and neat, yet warm and inviting. Same with the staff and Dr. Freedman. I am a case […]
Karen P.
Always a great experience…Dr. Freedman is awesome and Maria is the best!!! Highly recommend this practice!!!
Pamela P.
Dr Andrew is awesome!
Alex N.
These people know what they’re doing, and genuinely care about their patients. I’ve never felt better about my smile! I had a sizable chip taken out of my two front teeth 5 years ago in a bike […]
Allan H.
Dr. Freedman and Dr. Andrew always take great care of me and my family! They make going to the dentist fun and painless. Had a conflict with my original appointment but they were able to accommodate […]
April C.
As usual very efficient, friendly and professional from the receptionist to Dr Freedman himself. It is always a pleasure to visit them. I always come away from their office not only with cleaner […]
Robert M.
I’ve been going to see Dr. Freedman for over ten years. I would recommend him to anyone and actually have recommended his practice to many folks. The office is spotless. The staff is very […]
Jane H.
WOW! Fabulous all around … from the moment you make the first call to the moment you leave the office. Dr. Freedman and his staff are top notch!
Diane C.
I have been a patient of Dr. Freedman since 1990 and never have I had a bad experience. The staff is always welcoming and helpful and Dr. Freedman has always provided the best service. He’s […]
Shimel M.
Everyone was extremely friendly and helpful. Josh, the hygienist, was very thorough and made sure my teeth were very clean. Dr. Freedman was excellent and made me feel my teeth were in good hands. I […]
Anonymous
My family and I have been using Brad + his staff for over 25 years. He has been a loyal doctor, friend and support system for us. His staff exemplifies the absolute best customer service and […]
Ian M.
Great
Gary W.
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Tue. – 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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Thu. – 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri. – 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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For appointments, call: (703) 940-1886
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  • Tuesday 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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  • Thursday 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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