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
Easy, thorough, and really enjoyable checkup experience. Josh is amazing. Dr. Fred man answers any questions and is clear and personal.
Nicole H.
Very friendly, punctual and efficient staff.
Deborah W.
Great office. Prompt courteous staff and friendly staff. Been coming here for over 10 years and want consider going anywhere else.
Banersva B.
Always a curteous knowlegable staff and really personable group. My favorite dentist office!
Jesse G.
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 […]
Karina L.
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 […]
Drew W.
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.
My appointment yesterday was excellent, as my appointments gave been for the last 20 years. Going to the dentist is my least favorite activity, but the level of professionalism, expertise and […]
Joan W.
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.
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.
As always, the customer care at Brad Freedman, DDS office is wonderful. They take great care in making your experience professional but still keeping it very friendly and comforting. This is […]
Carol W.
I have been coming to Dr Freedman for 13 years now and I plan on continuing to visit Dr Freedman until I am forced to change because he retires.
Lyttleton S.
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 […]
Allan H.
Very professional and knowledgeable doctors and staff. Friendly receptionists and clean office.
Ben L.
I’ve been going here for years and have always received top-notch dental care. The staff is friendly and attentive and never cut corners, and the office is always impeccably clean. I have never […]
Caitlin B.
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.
Everything is great!
Galina A.
Dr. Freedman has taken care of my teeth for years and I have always been pleased with the care and service I have received.
Marsha B.
Excellent services.
Jiunhong Y.
Eveyone was very friendly and welcoming. I git a cleaning and the hygienist did a great job. She was very gentle but i left feeling like i got a great cleaning.
Nicole E.
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