Term Successfully Added to Selected Deck
Unable to Add the term to selected Deck. Please try again later!
80 terms share this category
Alveolar crest

A "crest" of bone between each "hollow receptacle" in the maxilla/mandible that is the space where the tooth sits

  • Alveus (Latin) - Any hollowed out structure
  • Crista (Latin) - Plume, Cleft

A "hollow receptacle" in the maxilla and/or mandible where the roots of teeth sit suspended by the periodontal ligament

  • Alveus (Latin) - Any hollowed out structure
  • Plural term = Alveoli
  • Singular = Alveolus
  • Contains the "gomphosis," which is the joint that binds the bottom parts of the roots of teeth to the bony sockets of the dental alveoli
  • Contains the "Periodontal Ligament"
  • It is the little pocket/socket in bone that a tooth sits in
  • Ameloblasts

    Cell which "germinates" tooth "enamel"

    • Amelo (English) - Emel
    • Blastos (Greek) - Germ, sprout, bud or budding, immature
  • Ameloblasts are cells which form enamel. They secrete enamel proteins amelin and amelogenin. These proteins mineralize to become enamel.
  • Osteoblasts form bone. Ameloblasts form enamel.
  • Apical

    "Relating to" the "high point" or "apex" of a root.

    • Apex (Latin) - Peak, tip
  • The direction towards the root tip(s) of a tooth, as opposed to coral, which refers to the direction towards the crown
  • When referring to direction in relation to entities on or of the crown, this term can be synonymous with both cervical and gingival.
  • Buccal triangular ridge

    Linear, flat elevations (ridge) on the side of teeth facing the "cheeks" that project from the "crest" of the tooth to the central fossa, forming a "triangle" shape

  • Only found on the occlusal surface of posterior teeth (molar and premolar)
  • Canine eminence

    Bilateral "juts" or "projections" on the facial/buccal surface of the maxilla corresponding to the root and socket of a canine tooth

  • The canine eminence is important for upperlip support and facial form of the corners of the mouth
  • Cementoblasts

    Cells which "germinate" "cementum"

    • Caementum (Greek) - Rough stone
    • Blastos (Greek) - Germ, sprout, bud or budding, immature
  • Cementoblasts are cells which form cementum. They do so by laying down an organic matrix made of collagen, sialoprotein, and osteocalcin. The saliva contains minerals which then mineralize this matrix into cementum.
  • Like osteoblasts which form bone, cementoblasts form cementum
  • Cementum

    "Calcified" substance that covers the root of teeth, it is a component of the periodontium that attaches teeth to bone

  • It is less hard than dentin, yellowish and semipermeable to various materials. It has the highest mineralized content of all of the mineralized tissues.
  • Central fossa

    A depression or concavity located centrally on the occlusal surface of molars and mandibular second premolars

  • The maxillary and mandibular first premolars have mesial and distal triangular fossae but don't have a central fossa.
  • Central groove

    A "groove" that runs in the occlusal surface of posterior teeth from the mesial to the distal and divides the tooth into buccal and lingual

  • Also called "central dissection groove"
  • Central incisor

    Found in the "middle" of the apex of the dental arch, mesial (closer to the midline) to the lateral incisor.

  • Most visible of all teeth in the mouth and present in most heterodont mammals. Function is for shearing (cutting) or growing during mastication (chewing).
  • Primary Central Incisors:
  • First evidence of calcification: 14 weeks in utero (maxillary), 18 weeks in utero (mandibular)
  • Crown completion: 1.5 months (maxillary), 2.5 months (mandibular)
  • Eruption: 6 months (mandibular), 7.5 months (maxillary)
  • Eruption sequence: 1 (mandibular), 3 (maxillary)
  • Root completion: 1.5 years
  • Permanent Central Incisors:
  • First evidence of calcification: 34 weeks in utero
  • Crown completion: 45 months
  • Eruption: 67 years (mandibular), 78 years (maxillary)
  • Eruption sequence: 1 (mandibular), 5 (maxillary)
  • Root completion: 9 years (mandibular), 10 yea
  • Cingulum

    A convex "belt"like protuberance along the lingual/palatal aspects of the cervical third of the anterior teeth

  • It represents the lingual/palatal developmental lobes of these teeth
  • Condyle

    In anatomy, the round "knuckle" appearing structures at the end of long bones.

  • The ends of lone bones that form the articulation of a joint
  • Seen in many long bones including the tibia, femur and humerus
  • The condyle is a component of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). It fits into the articular fossa (aka. mandibular fossa, glenoid fossa) of the temporal bone.
  • Condyloid process

    Consisting of the condyle and the neck leading up to the condyle, the condyloid process is the mandibular bone's "progression" into the condyle

    • Kondulos (Greek) - Knuckle, knob
    • Eidos (Greek) - Form, Resemblance or Shape, Likeness
    • Processus (Latin) - Process, progression, course
  • The condyloid process (aka. condylar process) is one of two bony eminences that project superiorly from the mandibular bone, towards the skull (the other being the coronoid process).
  • Crown

    A dental "crown" is a tooth shaped cap that is placed over a tooth to restore its shape, size, strength and function.

  • Crowns are usually cemented in place and its margins can be located subgingivally or supragingival
  • Curve of spee

    It is the curvature or "bend” of the mandibular occlusal plane beginning at the tip of the lower cuspid and following the buccal cusps of the posterior teeth, continuing to the terma molar.

  • It is med for the German embryologist Farding Graf von Spee (1855–1937), who was first to describe the atomic relations of human teeth in the sagittal plane.
  • It is the Anterior Posterior Curve of Occlusion
  • Curve of wilson

    It is the upward (Ushaped) mediolateral "curvature" that contacts the buccal and lingula cusp tips on each side of the arch.

  • Med after Dr. George H. Wilson, who first described the curve in 1911.
  • It is the Mediolateral Curve of Occlusion
  • Cusp

    It is a "pointed" projection on a crown of a tooth.

    Cusp of carabelli

    It is a small additional "cusp" at the mesiopalatal line angle of maxillary first molars.

  • This extra cusp is usually found on the first molar, and becomes progressively less likely in the second, third molars.
  • Cuspid

    A tooth with a singular “point of apex”, refers to the canine

  • Canines are also known as cuspids because they have a singular prominent cusp, while premolars, having two prominent cusps, are known as bicuspids
  • Deciduous dentition

    Category of “teeth” that “fall off” and are replaced by permanent dentition

  • Deciduous dentition are also known as primary teeth and begin calcification 46 months in utero and are replaced by permanent teeth around 12 years of age
  • Dehiscence

    A “gap” seen clinically on the buccal gingival

    • Dehiscere (Latin) - To gape, open, split down
  • Distinct from a fenestration, which is a “window” on the buccal gingiva of a tooth
  • Dental arch

    "Bow" shaped arrangement of "teeth"

    • Dens (Latin) - Tooth
    • Arcus (Latin) - Bow (the weapon), a curve
  • One on each jaw
  • Upper arch is denoted "Maxillary"
  • Lower arch is denoted "Mandibular"
  • Dental pulp

    "Fleshy" center of a "tooth"

    • Dens (Latin) - Tooth
    • Pulpa (Latin) - Soft part of animal body
  • Consists of living connective tissue and cells (odontoblasts)
  • Mineralized
  • 32 dental pulps exist in the adult/permanent dentition
  • Dentin

    Calcified tissue that forms the majority of a "tooth"

    • Dens (Latin) - Tooth
  • Usually covered by enamel on the crown and cementum on the root
  • By weight, it is 70% hydroxyapatite mineral, 20% organic matter, and 10% water
  • Harder than bone but softer than enamel
  • Diastama

    A "space between" two adjacent teeth

  • A diastema is commonly seen as a gap between the upper central incisors
  • A famous model with a diastema is Lara Stone.
  • Digastric fossa

    A "ditch" or groove on the mandible where the anterior belly of the digastric muscle attaches. The anterior belly is one of "two" "bellies", of the digastric muscle the other one is the posterior belly.

    • Di (Greek) - Two, Double, Twice
    • Gaster (Greek) - Stomach, belly, eater, devourer
    • Fossa (Latin) - Ditch, trench, cal
  • The digastric fossa is located on the interior surface of the mandible, near the chin.
  • Distal fossa

    A shallow "ditch" located on the "distant" third of occlusal surface of posterior teeth

    • Distal (English) - Distant
    • Fossa (Latin) - Ditch, trench, cal
  • Bordered by cusp ridges, marginal ridge and occlusal perimeter.
  • Distal triangular fossa

    "Ditch" located adjacent to margin ridges on the occlusal surface if posterior teeth

    Distobuccal developmental groove

    A minor "groove" that comes from a major groove

    • Distal (English) - Distant
    • Bucca (Latin) - Cheek
    • Desveloper (Old French) - Unwrap, unfurl, unveil; reveal the meaning of, explain
    • Groeve (Dutch) - Furrow, pit
  • These are supplemental grooves
  • Enamel organ

    A "tool" that eventually makes enamel and develops from ectodermal origin.

    • Enamaillar (Old French) - Enamel; smelt
    • Organon (Greek) - Tool, instrument, sense organ
  • 1 of 3 parts of the tooth germ (other 2 are dental papilla and dental follicle). Histologically, its formation begins with the development of the bud stage.
  • Ameloblasts make enamel.
  • Eruption

    A process of tooth development in which teeth "break out" into the mouth and become visible

  • The first human tooth to erupt is around 6 months (Mandibular Central Incisors)
  • First human permanent tooth to erupt is around year 6 (Mandibular First Molars)
  • Fenestration

    Like a "window", it is an area of bone loss which looks like a hole or "opening" in the alveolar bone

    • Fenestra (Latin) - Window, opening for light
  • This window occurs over tooth roots, which are normally covered by alveolar bone. This area of bone may be destroyed due disease like endodontic infections, or it may be created during surgery to access the root.
  • Fenestration is often compared to dehiscence both areas of localized bone loss, but the fenestration has intact margin bone, whereas the dehiscence does not
  • Fossa

    A shallow rounded or angular "ditch" or "trench"

  • Located on the occlusal surfaces of posterior teeth.
  • Furcation

    It is the atomical area of a multirooted tooth where the roots divide or become "forked"

    Gingival papilla

    "Swellings" of the "gums" found in the space between teeth

  • Helps prevent food impaction
  • If greater than 8mm exist between the interdental bone and the interproximal contact, usually no papilla will be present. If the distance is less than 5mm, then a papilla will usually be present.
  • Ginglymoarthrodial articulation

    A "joint" with "hinging" and sliding movement

  • The Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) is considered ginglymoarthrodial
  • The condyle of the mandible articulates with the temporal bone in the mandibular fossa in a ginglymoarthrodial fashion
  • Haplodont

    A primitive type of dentition where a "tooth" is a "single" structure, with no divisions like fissures or multiple cusps.

  • As seen in reptiles, teeth are conical with one cusp and no ridges/fissures (aka. simple teeth). This is in contrast to human teeth, which are formed from the fusion of several cones and have multiple cusps, ridges, and fissures (compound teeth).
  • Hard palate

    Area of the "roof of the mouth" which is bony and hard.

    • Palatum (Greek) - Roof of the mouth, of the Palace
  • The hard palate is critical for proper speech and swallowing. It is distinguishable from the non bony soft palate, located posterior to the hard palate.
  • Incisive fossa

    A "ditch/trench" behind the "cutting teeth"

    • Incisor (Medieval Latin) - A cutting tooth
    • Fossa (Latin) - Ditch, trench, cal
  • Seen in the midline of the hard palate behind the central incisors
  • Is the location where the incisive canals open and contains the incisive foramen
  • Is the location of nasopalatine nerves and sphenopalatine artery
  • Incisor

    A "cutting tooth" located close to the midline of the face on both maxilla and mandible

    • Incisor (Medieval Latin) - A cutting tooth
  • There are four incisors on both arches two centrals and two laterals
  • There are 4 central incisors and 4 lateral incisors total in a typical fully dentulous mouth
  • Are anterior teeth present in the aesthetic zone
  • You use your incisors when you bite into an apple
  • Intercuspal position

    "To place" the "points of apex" of teeth "between" the opposing teeth they "relate to"

    • Inter (Latin) - Among, between, betwixt, in the midst of
    • Cuspis (Latin) - Point
    • Ponere (Latin) - To lay down
  • The occlusal position of the mandible when the cusps and fossae of the maxillary and mandibular teeth are in their greatest contact, allowing the mandible to be in its most closed position
  • Aka Maximum Intercuspation (MIP)
  • Don't confuse this with Centric Relation (CR), which is the most anteriorsuperior position of the mandible
  • MIP and CR are only coincidental in 10% of the population
  • Intercuspal position

    "To place" the "points of apex" of teeth "between" the opposing teeth they "relate to"

    • Inter (Latin) - Among, between, betwixt, in the midst of
    • Cuspis (Latin) - Point
    • Ponere (Latin) - To lay down
  • The occlusal position of the mandible when the cusps and fossae of the maxillary and mandibular teeth are in their greatest contact, allowing the mandible to be in its most closed position
  • Aka Maximum Intercuspation (MIP)
  • Don't confuse this with Centric Relation (CR), which is the most anteriorsuperior position of the mandible
  • MIP and CR are only coincidental in 10% of the population
  • Interdental papilla

    Found in normal, healthy gum tissue, projections or "swellings" of gingiva fill the triangular gap "between" adjacent "teeth" (plural: interdental papillae)

    • Inter (Latin) - Among, between, betwixt, in the midst of
    • Dens (Latin) - Tooth
    • Papula (Latin) - Pimple, swelling, pustule
  • Having an interdental papilla between neighboring teeth prevents food accumulation.
  • Aka. interdental gingiva
  • Interdental septum

    Like a "wall" which "encloses" the tooth, the interdental septum is the bony wall located "between" and separating adjacent "tooth" roots.

    • Inter (Latin) - Among, between, betwixt, in the midst of
    • Dens (Latin) - Tooth
    • Sepire (Latin) - Enclose
  • It is the bone separating two adjacent tooth sockets.
  • The peak of this bone is termed "alveolar crest"
  • Lateral incisor

    A “cutting tooth” on the “side” or adjacent to the central incisor

  • Maxillary lateral incisors are most likely to have accessory cusps called talon cusps
  • Lateral movement

    An “exercise” of the mandible to the “side”

    • Lateralis (Latin) - Side
    • Movement (Old French) - Movement, exercise; start,instigation
  • Movement of the mandible can be recorded and reproduced on an articulator
  • Leeway space

    An “area” in primary teeth that provides “protection” and “freedom of movement” for the permanent teeth in eruption

    • Hleo (Old English) - Shelter, cover, defense, protection
    • Weg (Old English) - Road, path; course of travel; room, space, freedom of movement.
    • Spatium (Latin) - Room, area, distance, stretch of time
  • Leeway space is the extra space available when the larger primary molars are replaced by the smaller permanent premolars
  • Lingual fossa

    A "trench" or "canal" on the "tongue" facing side of a tooth

    • Lingua (Latin) - Tongue
    • Fossa (Latin) - Ditch, trench, cal
  • A shallow rounded depression on the lingual/palatal surface of anterior teeth
  • Very prominent on maxillary canines and maxillary central incisors
  • Lingual lobe

    A "small lobe" on the "tongue" facing side of a tooth

    • Lingua (Latin) - Tongue
    • Lobus (Latin) - Hull, husk, pod, small lobe
  • The cingulum forms from this lingual lobe of development on anterior teeth
  • All anterior teeth have three labial lobes and one lingual lobe
  • Normally, maxillary molars have four lobes two buccal and two lingual
  • Normally, mandibular first molars have five lobes three buccal and two lingual
  • Lingual ridge

    A "spine" or "crest" of enamel on the "tongue" side of a tooth.

    • Lingua (Latin) - Tongue
    • Hrycg (Old English) - Spine, crest
  • Found on the lingual surface of canines, it is an elevation of enamel connecting the cingulum and cusp tip
  • Mamelon

    Any one of three rounded "little breasts" found on the incisal ridges of newly erupted incisor teeth.

  • Worn away by use. No clinical importance.
  • Mental tubercle

    "Lumps" of bone on the "chin", which flank the mental protuberance (center) on each side (left and right)

    • Mentum (Latin) - Chin
    • Tuber (Latin) - Lump, bump, swelling
  • Two tubercles, one on each side of the protuberance, are located on the chin area of the mandible.
  • Mixed dentition

    A period when a person has both primary and permanent teeth normally between the ages of 612 years of age.

    • Miscere (Latin) - To mingle, to blend
    • Dens (Latin) - Tooth
  • Normally begins with the eruption of the mandibular first molar at 6 years old and ends with the exfoliation of the last primary tooth (usually maxillary canine)
  • Mulberry Molars

    “Millstone”like teeth that resemble “a type of berry”

    • Morum (Latin) - Mulberry
    • Mola (Latin) - Millstone
  • An abnormal developmental issue usually related to congenital syphilis
  • Oblique groove

    A "slanted" or "sidelong" "furrow" along the occlusal surface of a maxillary molar.

  • An example is the distal oblique groove, which joins the lingual groove on the occlusal surface of a maxillary molar
  • Orofacial pain

    A “penalty” involving the “face” and “mouth” areas

  • The most common type involves neuromuscular dysfunction, but can include cluster headaches, pituitary adenomas, etc.
  • Usually refers to pain of nonodontogenic origin
  • Palmar notation

    (Palmer is med after a dentist) A system used by dentists to associate information to a specific tooth

    • Palma (Latin) - The flat of the hand
    • Nota (Latin) - Mark
  • Palmer notation consists of symbols (┘└ ┐┌) designating the quadrant a tooth is found in and a number indicating the position from the midline
  • Adult teeth are numbered 1 to 8, with deciduous (baby) teeth indicated by a letter A to E
  • Example left and right maxillary central incisor would have the same number, "1", but the right one would have the symbol, "┘", underneath it, while the left one would have, "└"
  • Often used in the Orthodontics specialty
  • Pit

    A “well” that occurs usually on the occlusal surface of teeth due in enamel development

  • Occlusal pits and fissures can be covered by sealants to protect against caries
  • Pulp

    "Soft part" of the tooth

    • Pulpa (Latin) - Soft part of animal body
  • The pulp consists of blood vessels, nerves, and odontoblasts.
  • Pulp cavity

    In a tooth, the entire "hollow space" containing the "soft part" (pulp)

    • Pulpa (Latin) - Soft part of animal body
    • Cavus (Latin) - Hollow, Space
  • The pulp cavity is the entire space which holds the pulp. It includes both the root canals (radicular portion of tooth) and the pulp chamber (coral portion of tooth).
  • Pulp chamber

    In a tooth, the "vault" or space containing the "soft part" (pulp)

    • Pulpa (Latin) - Soft part of animal body
    • Chambre (Old French) - Vault, Arched Chamber
  • The pulp chamber is the space which contains a mass of pulp (bulkier than in root canal) and is located in the crown of the tooth.
  • Pulp horn

    An elongation of the pulp of the tooth that extends toward the cusp, which has a "horn" like structure.

    • Pulpa (Latin) - Soft part of animal body
    • Cornus (Latin) - Horn
  • Mandibular primary first molars usually have four pulp horns.
  • Ramus

    A "branch" of the human mandible that occurs bilaterally and extends from the body to the condyle.

    • Ramus (Latin) - A branch, bough, or twig
  • Usually called the "ascending ramus". Is the attachment site for various muscles of mastication.
  • Retromolar triangle

    A “triangle” formed “behind” the last molar or “millstone” tooth

  • This area is used to estimate the height of mandibular denture teeth in edentulous patients
  • Root canal

    A "channel" found within the "underground" portion of a tooth

    • Rot (Old English) - Underground part of a plant
    • Canalis (Latin) - Pipe, groove, channel
  • Consists of the pulp chamber (within the coral part of the tooth), the main cell(s), and more intricate atomical branches that may connect the root canals to each other or to the surface of the root
  • At the center of every tooth is a hollow area that houses soft tissues, such as the nerve, blood vessels, and connective tissue
  • Secondary dentin

    "Tooth" formation "following or second to" the original calcified atomy

    • Secundus (Latin) - Next, following, second
    • Dens (Latin) - Tooth
  • Dentin that is formed after completion of root formation
  • Normally occurs after the tooth has erupted and is functional
  • Grows slowly and shrinks the pulp chamber size, leading to pulp recession
  • Older dentin that continues to form in a vital tooth
  • Septae

    A "fence" between adjacent cavities or structures of the body

    • Saeptum (Latin) - A fence, enclosure, partition
  • A wall, dividing a cavity or structure into smaller ones
  • The 'interdental septum' is the bony separation between adjacent teeth in a dental arch
  • Your nose has a septum, known as the 'sal septum' the cartilage wall separating the nostrils of the nose
  • Spillways

    Also called an embrasure that is a Vshaped valley in between adjacent teeth.

    • Area is mostly filled by the gingival papilla. Patients must floss in the embrasure space to avoid plaque accumulation interproximal.
    • Sublingual fossa

      A “trench” that is “below” the “tongue”

      • Sub (Latin) - Under, below, beneath, at the foot of
      • Lingua (Latin) - Tongue
      • Fossa (Latin) - Ditch, trench, cal
    • Location of the sublingual gland
    • Submandibular fossa

      A “trench” that is “below” the lower “jaw”

      • Sub (Latin) - Under, below, beneath, at the foot of
      • Mandere (Latin) - To chew, jaw
      • Fossa (Latin) - Ditch, trench, cal
    • Location of the submandibular gland
    • Succedaneous

      A term that refers to the primary teeth, which are “replaced with” permanent teeth

      • Succedaneus (Latin) - Replaced with, acting as a replacement, to succeed
    • Succedaneous teeth exist in the mouth typically between 6 months and 12 years
    • At 6 years old, a person typically enters into the mixed dentition stage with primary and permanent teeth
    • Sulcus

      A "furrow" found between a tooth and the surrounding gingival tissue

      • Sulcus (Latin) - Furrow, trench, ditch, wrinkle
    • Lined by sulcular epithelium
    • Bounded apically by the gingival fibers of the connective tissue attachment and corollary by the free gingival margin
    • Healthy sulcus depth is around 23mm
    • Supplemental groove

      A "furrow" on a tooth that "fill up" the area surrounding a triangular ridge

    • Linear grooves that radiate from the developmental groove
    • Often gives the tooth surface a wrinkled look
    • Temporomandibular ligament

      "Binds" together the "skull near the temples" (temporal) and "jaw" (mandibular)

      • Temporalis (Latin) - Of a time, but for a time, pertaining to the temples.
      • Mandere (Latin) - To chew, jaw
      • Ligare (Latin) - To bind
    • The temporomandibular ligament joins the zygomatic arch and the neck of the mandible. Its helps to stabilize the temporomandibular joint
    • Aka. External lateral ligament
    • Tooth paste

      Gel or "dough" like dentifrice used in combination with a toothbrush as an accessory to clean and maintain the aesthetics and health of teeth.

      • Dens (Latin) - Tooth
      • Paste (Old French) - Dough, pastry
    • Toothpaste is used to promote oral hygiene: it serves as an abrasive that aids in removing the dental plaque and food from the teeth, assists in suppressing halitosis, and delivers active ingredients (most commonly fluoride) to help prevent tooth and gum disease (gingivitis).
    • Tooth socket

      A cavity in the alveolar process of the maxilla and mandible that accommodates a "tooth."

      • Dens (Latin) - Tooth
      • Soc (Old French) - Plowshare
    • The lay term for dental alveoli is tooth sockets and are held in the alveolar process of maxilla with the periodontal ligament.
    • Triangular fossa

      A "trench" that descends from the tips of cusps of molars and premolars toward the central part of the occlusal surfaces.

    • Med after the cusps to which they belong.
    • Triconodont

      A tooth having "three" "knobs" with the central one being the largest.


      "three" "roots" or "forks" of the molar

      • Tri (Greek) - Three
      • Furca (Latin) - Forked