Gentle Dental of St. Clair Shores
26210 Harper Avenue, Suite 100, St. Clair Shores, MI 48081

Glossary of Dental Terms

Abscess

An infection in a tooth, often accompanied by swelling and inflammation.

 

Abutment

Tooth or tooth root that supports or stabilizes a bridge, denture, or other prosthetic appliance.

 

Adhesive Dentistry

Process in which composite resin is adhered to the existing enamel of a tooth. This can be used to repair or improve the appearance of a tooth.

 

Allergy

An abnormal reaction of the body to a drug or foreign substance.

 

Anesthesia

General or local insensibility to pain, induced by certain interventions or drugs to permit the performance of surgery or other painful procedures.

 

Anterior Teeth

The six upper and lower front teeth. These consist of incisors and cuspids.

 

Bicuspid or pre-molar

Any of eight teeth located in pairs on each side of the upper and lower jaws between the cuspids and molars.

 

Bonding

A procedure for restoring the discolored or damaged surface of a tooth by coating it with composite resin that adheres to the existing enamel.

 

Bridge

An artificial replacement of a missing tooth or teeth, attached by cement or composite resin to natural teeth or roots adjacent to the space.

 

Crown

1.             The part of a tooth that is covered by enamel and not covered by gum tissue.

2.             An artificial substitute, as of gold or porcelain, which entirely covers the anatomical crown of a tooth

 

Cuspid or canine

The four pointed or conical teeth also commonly known as ‘eyeteeth’.

 

DDS

Doctor of Dental Surgery

 

Dentin

Hard tissue that forms the inner layer of the structure of a tooth and is situated beneath the surface enamel

 

Dental implant

A metal screw (often titanium) that is surgically anchored in the gums or jawbone to support a dental appliance or replace a missing tooth.

 

Denture

An artificial replacement of some or all of the natural teeth

 

Disease of the gums

Periodontal disease (also called “Gum Disease” or “Periodontal Disease”) involves bacterial growth (a colorless film, called “plaque”) that gradually destroys the tissue surrounding the teeth. If not removed, plaque builds up on the teeth and ultimately irritates the gums and causes bleeding. If left untreated, bone and surrounding tissue will decay, resulting in loose teeth, or worse, tooth loss. More than 75 percent of Americans over 35 have some form of gum disease.

 

DMD

Doctor of Dental Medicine

 

Enamel

The hard layer covering of the crown of a tooth.

 

Endodontics

The area of dentistry concerned with the treatment of the dental pulp or nerve of the tooth.

 

Endodontists

Endodontists are dentists who have additionally 2-3 years of training following dental school and typically limit their practice to root canal therapy and root canal surgery. Very often Endodontists earn a graduate degree (Master’s degree) as well as specialized certified training. While some Dentists perform root canals themselves, generally Dentists will refer a patient requiring Endodontics to a trained Endodontist.

 

Filling

A substance, such as metal, porcelain or resin, that is used to replace lost tooth structured caused by decay.

 

Gingivitis

Inflammation of the gums.

 

Halitosis

Bad breath

 

Incisors

The four front teeth in either the upper or lower jaw.

 

Malocclusion

Faulty contact between the upper and lower teeth, causing these teeth to be misaligned.

 

Mandible

The lower jaw

 

Maxilla

The upper jaw

 

Molars

Teeth for grinding food, located in the back of the mouth on either side.

 

Nerve (root) canal

Hollow passage inside of a tooth, inhabited by nerve tissue.

 

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Surgery to correct a wide spectrum of diseases or injuries upper jaw or face.

 

Oral Surgeon

An Oral Surgeon (“Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon” or OMFS) first receive their training in dentistry and then continue further specialization in treating the areas of the mouth, jaws and the face as well as associated structures. While Oral Surgeons often additionally go on to study medicine and may go so far to take a Medical Degree (MD), a medical degree is not required for an OMFS to practice. Oral & maxillofacial surgery is universally recognized as a one of the nine specialties of dentistry.

 

Orthodontics

Orthodontics is an area of dentistry that involved the treatment of improper bites (“malocclusions”) making use of a variety of devises, most commonly, braces, to move teeth or adjust underlying bone. The word comes from the Greek words ortho meaning straight and odons meaning tooth.

 

Orthodontist

Orthodontists first complete 4 years of dental school training (DDS). Orthodontists additionally complete 2-3 of residency training focused on the specific treatment and realignment of misaligned teeth with devises including braces, retainers and other methods.

 

Overbite

Condition in which the upper incisors overlap the lower ones.

 

Pediatric Dentistry

The practice of dentistry on children.

 

Pediatric Dentist

Pediatric Dentists (or Pediodontists) study an additional 2 years in a residency program following their graduation from dental school. As specified by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, Pediatric Dentists study advanced diagnostic and surgical procedures, along with child psychology and clinical management, oral pathology, child-related pharmacology, radiology, child development, management of oral/facial trauma, care for patients with special needs, conscious sedation and general anesthesia.

 

Periodontics/Periodontist

Periodontists typically study for an additional 3 years following dental school. During their clinical training, Periodontists are involved in learning both the treatment, as well as prevention techniques for periodontal diseases. Periodontists may also study advanced surgical techniques such as periodontal plastic surgery, and dental implant placement.According to the American Academy of Periodontology there are currently 52 institutions offer advanced training programs in periodontics in the United States

 

Periodontal Disease(also known as Periodontics)

Periodontal disease, also called “gum disease”, involves bacterial growth (a colorless film, called “plaque”) that gradually destroys the tissue surrounding the teeth. When plaque builds up on the teeth, it can result in gum irritation and possibly bleeding. If left untreated, bone and surrounding tissue will decay, resulting in loose teeth, or worse, tooth loss

 

Plaque

Deposit of saliva, food and bacteria that accumulates on the teeth in the from of a whitish, sticky substance.

 

Prosthodontics

The area of dentistry that deals with the replacement of missing teeth or jaw structures by bridges, dentures, or other artificial devices.

 

Prosthodontist

Specialist who must complete dental training (DDS) and then continue for an additional 3 years of specialty training in the area of prosthodontics (i.e. implants, esthetic and reconstructive dentistry). Cosmetic dentistry, implants and joint problems all fall under the field of prosthodontics

 

Root

The embedded portion of a tooth that connects it to the jaw.

 

Root Canal

The space inside the root of the tooth. This space contains the pulp.

Also, this is the term commonly used for root canal therapy, a procedure in which the nerve and tissues are removed from the canal and replaced with filling material.

 

Splint

Means of securing one or more loose teeth to one or more healthy, secure teeth.

 

 

Tartar

Calculus on the teeth; a hard, yellowish substance that attracts plaque.

 

TMJ

Temporomandibular joint syndrome and TMJ joint disorders are medical problems related to the jaw joint. The TMJ connects the lower jaw to the skull.

 

Veneer

A thin layer of plastic or porcelain applied to the outside of the tooth for aesthetic purposes.

 

Wisdom Teeth

Third molars; the last teeth to appear in the mouth. These teeth usually appear between the ages of 18 and 25. They are so called because they appear later in life when a person is physically mature.

 

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
Friendliness of staff. Knowledge of insurance. Pricing options. No waiting for long periods of time.
Lesa B.
Awesome staff…from the doctors to the hygienists to the assistants to the front desk! They’re flexible, kind, and make you feel comfortable while providing great service. I bring my baby […]
Erin E.
Recently went to this dentist for a exam and was very impressed with my overall experience. I was greeted with a very passionate and caring lady Donna. She was very pleasant and the hygentist was so […]
Dawn G.
We absolutely love it here! Dr.Duan has been amazing with my 7 year old
Chelsea B.
I couldn’t ask for a better experience.
John P.
Dr. Ray Ascano is the best dentist I have ever had and a really nice guy. He has done A LOT of work on my teeth and it has been about as painless as you can get. Highly recommend you choose this […]
Mike J.
Honestly, the best experience that I have ever had at a dentist.
Jon W.
The Dentist Dr. Duan, dental assistance Chulae, and hyg. Sam were excellent.
Caracakeco J.
Such an amazing staff all around. Kathy, Dr. Ascano and Dr. Duan are all so knowledgeable and kind. They made me feel so comfortable even though I was a pain to them and have a crazy fear of the […]
Allissa B.
Everyone was helpful and friendly. Very accommodating!
Dianne P.
efficiency and cleanliness
Dennise N.
Okay so I grew up being a afraid of the dentist my whole life. We had really crappy health coverage so we switched dentist offices a TON but this Gentle Dental is not like any other place I’ve […]
Elizabeth W.
Dr. Ascano is very caring and personable. He really makes a point to get to know his patients. The staff at Gentle Dental are VERY helpful too!
Satyra J.
I was so afraid to have my teeth pulled much less three teeth but the whole time she did it she was saying words like beautiful great it helps so much she did a fantastic job and I’m glad […]
Bridget A.
Very gentle and thoroughly explained all the things going on with my teeth. Itemized all costs and explained why I needed certain services. Created a game plan with me instead of dictated a plan. […]
Angel H.
Dr. Duan is an excellent dentist. I thank her for fixing a dental emergency so quickly a couple days ago. I have been going to this dentist office for a couple years now and everyone has been nice […]
Robert C.
It took me over 20years to get to the dentist. If I would have known Dr. Ascano was out there I would have gone sooner. From the very first visit he took all my fears away and made me feel […]
Sandra M.
Because I always feel like I’ve been treated kindly and compassionately after every visit.
Jennifer L.
Dr. Ascano is the best! He’s friendly and caring and works hard to resolve any problems that I’m having.
Valorie M.
They were friendly and helpful.
Jasmen B.
Office Hours
Mon. – 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Tue. – 8:30 AM - 7:00 PM
Wed. – 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Thu. – 8:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Fri. – 8:30 AM - 2:00 PM
Sat. – 8:30 AM - 2:00 PM
Sun. – Closed

Every other Saturday

Phone: (248) 850-1809
Fax: (586) 779-0632
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For appointments, call us at: (248) 850-1809 or
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For appointments, call: (248) 850-1809
Office Hours
  • Monday 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Tuesday 8:30 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Wednesday 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Thursday 8:30 AM - 8:00 PM
  • Friday 8:30 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Saturday 8:30 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Sunday Closed
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  • Phone: (248) 850-1809
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