Dental Glossary

Dentist in Hanover, PA

A bridge replaces missing teeth without the use of a denture or dental implant. A false tooth is held in place by being attached to a neighboring tooth. In order to fabricate a bridge, crowns are made for the teeth on either side of the space and a false tooth is placed in between the crowns, as a support.
CAD/CAM is an acronym that stands for computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing. CAD/CAM technology is used to help the dental team fabricate precise shapes and sizes for dental restorations including inlays, onlays, crowns and bridges. This technology provides patients with durable, esthetic, well-fitted single and multiple tooth restorations in a more efficient manner. The first step in using CAD/CAM technology is tooth preparation. Next, a digital impression is taken that sends the prepared tooth’s exact dimensions into a computer. Afterwards, the computer software creates a virtual restoration replacement part for the missing areas of the tooth. The software then sends the virtual restoration data to the milling machine, where the replacement part is carved out of a solid block of ceramic or composite resin. The restoration is adjusted in the patient’s mouth and cemented or bonded in place. The accuracy of this technology is 20µm which is one fifth a human hair.
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Tooth-colored fillings are the most lifelike material used to fill cavities. Composite fillings can be done in one visit. Once the decay is removed from the tooth, it is filled with this composite material and left to harden immediately afterwards. The materials we use are the same as your natural enamel and have little to no sensitivity.
An oral examination is a visual inspection of the mouth, head, and neck, performed to detect abnormalities. Radiographs allow for a more complete examination, helping the doctor to detect cavities, problems in existing dental restorations, gum and bone recession or other abnormal conditions within the mouth, head and neck area.
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A denture is a removable replacement for missing teeth. There are two types of dentures, complete (full) and partial dentures.

Complete (Full) Dentures are made after all the teeth in the upper and/or lower jaw have been removed and the gum tissue has healed. The denture includes an acrylic base that is custom made in the dental laboratory and are made to look like natural gums, which sits over the gums or can be anchored to dental implants.

Removeable Partial Dentures are made only when a few teeth need to be replaced. The removable partial denture either attaches to crowns on either side of the denture or to a metal framework that is attached to the teeth on both sides of the partial denture. Partial dentures can be removable or they can be anchored in place by attaching them to dental implants. Removable partial dentures can be supported in place by attaching them to dental implants when wearing them during the day.

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A tooth that can not be saved with restorative materials may need to be removed. Before removing your tooth, the area will be numbed with anesthesia. The tooth is then loosened using a special dental instrument known as an elevator. After it is loosened from the socket, it is gently removed by a forcep, a dental instrument commonly used in dental extractions. Stitches may be necessary after the removal of a tooth.
At-Home bleaching requires an impression of the teeth to be taken to make a customized mouth guard to hold the whitening gel, containing carbide peroxide, against the teeth. Once the mouth guard is made, it is worn for a period of time, as instructed by our office. The amount of time may vary from a couple hours a day, or all night, for up to four weeks or longer, if desired. Crest Whitestrips that attach to teeth can also be used to obtain brighter and whiter teeth.
Dental implants are the replacement of tooth roots in the mouth. Implants provide a strong foundation for fixed or removable replacement teeth. Dental implants are small anchors made of a biocompatible metal called titanium, which are placed in the jawbone. The anchors begin to fuse with the bone over a few months. After the fusing process, known as osseointegration, abutment posts are inserted into the anchors to allow for the permanent attachment of the replacement teeth.
Lasers in dentistry allow for many dental procedures to be performed with no noise, very little pain and fewer appointments. All lasers work by delivering energy in the form of light. When used for surgical and dental procedures, the laser acts as a cutting instrument or a vaporizer of tissue that it comes in contact with. When used for “curing” a filling, the laser helps to strengthen the bond between the filling and the tooth. When used in teeth-whitening procedures, the laser acts as a heat source and enhances the effect of tooth-bleaching agents. The procedures performed with dental lasers are minimally invasive and preferable to conventional surgery.

Other benefits of laser dentistry over traditional methods can include:

Reduced heat and vibration
Little or no need for anesthetic
Faster treatment time
Increased rate of retention
Less post-operative complications
Some of the dental treatment provided by lasers are as followed:

“Cure” or harden fillings
Whiten teeth
Reshape gum tissue
Biopsy or remove soft tissue lesions and ulcers
Remove areas of tooth decay
Eliminate pockets of infected gum tissue
Root canal therapy Correct ankyloglossia (tongue-tied)
Oral surgery and extractions

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Invisalign

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Clear Bracket Braces

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Root canals are most often necessary when decay has reached the nerve of the tooth or the tooth has become infected. When root canal therapy is performed, infected or inflamed pulp is removed from the tooth chamber. The inside of the tooth is then cleaned and disinfected before filling and sealing to limit the possibility of future infection. Soon after the root canal is performed, the tooth is restored with a dental crown or filling to protect the tooth and restore normal tooth function
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Porcelain veneers are thin pieces of porcelain used to recreate the natural look of teeth. To place a veneer, a very small amount of the original tooth enamel must be removed. Afterwards, an adhesive layer is placed between the slightly prepped tooth and the veneer. The veneer is then hardened with a curing light.
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