Long Wharf Dental Group
1 Long Wharf Drive, Suite #221, New Haven, CT 06511

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
Dr. Lerman and Nella, the dental hygienist, were very attentive to my dental needs. I trust them both in their expertise. The office staff are very friendly, professional, and helpful.
Maria G.
Couldn’t have been a better visit anywhere. I was treated courteously,warmly and was told every step of the way what to expect. Dr Rothman and his assistant made sure I was comfortable throughout […]
Roseanne D.
Been with this Dental group for over 35 years & that is how good they are!!!
Lawrence I.
Dr is wonderful. All the staff are friendly
Evelyn K.
This practice has been truly wonderful. My husband had a bad accident resulting in very challenging dental treatment. Dr. Lerman needed to coordinate with the hospital and several other doctors and […]
Gaye H.
I always have a great experience here. I have been coming here since I was a little girl and I am now 20 years old. The dentists are all great and the receptionists are friendly and are helpful. When […]
Jennifer N.
As always, a visit to Long Wharf Dental is a very positive, professional experience. Everyone is courteous, friendly and positive. A pleasure to do business with them.
Anonymous
I love the service they are very very compassionate about the patients that they provide service for I will recommend anyone to come here.
One L.
Dr. Mark Rothman and the knowledgeable staff at Long Wharf Dental Group go above and beyond to make their patients comfortable. They put your best interest first, they listen carefully to your […]
Diane N.
Going to the dentist most be the most terrifying thing known to mankind, but at Long Wharf Dental they make you feel at home and comfortable. I had not been to the dentist in 8 years prior to my […]
Darrell B.
I’ve been a patient of this office for a many years and have always been satisfied. The staff, my doctor, Dr. Rothman, are all fantastic! They are on time, honest and they do not try and fix […]
Shawna B.
I switched dentist and came to Longwharf dental Group by way of recommendation from Sarah who sits at the front desk who’s so bubbly. Super friendly staff and to just say that they make you feel […]
Moore M.
Nice staff and great location. You won’t be disappointed.
Tiffany D.
Wonderful staff. My dentist is patient, precise and detail oriented when it comes to my procedures. I’ve never had a bad visit.
Tavonna S.
I had an excellent experience with Dr. Rothman and my Invisalign treatment. Also, Geraldine provided me with a great test cleaning!
Rachel R.
Long Wharf Dental is the best place to go for dental work. Staff is customer friendly and professional, you feel like you are just as important as anyone else. I would recommend this place over any […]
Hiawatha W.
Had my teeth clean by Geraldine. Have never had a bad visit with her.
Robert M.
Excellent care as always!!!
Sean T.
I love Long Wharf Dental! I highly recommend it to anyone looking for dental care. The dentists, hygienists, office staff are all great.
Sara P.
Had an extremely severe toothache and they fit me in for an emergency root canal immediately. All the staff members are extremely friendly and Dr. Rothman was excellent.
Arianne V.
Office Hours
Mon. – 7:30 AM - 4:45 PM
Tue. – 7:30 AM - 4:45 PM
Wed. – 7:30 AM - 4:45 PM
Thu. – 7:30 AM - 4:45 PM
Fri. – 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sat. – Closed
Sun. – Closed
Phone: (203) 764-2386
Fax: (203) 781-4280
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For appointments, call: (203) 764-2386
Office Hours
  • Monday 7:30 AM - 4:45 PM
  • Tuesday 7:30 AM - 4:45 PM
  • Wednesday 7:30 AM - 4:45 PM
  • Thursday 7:30 AM - 4:45 PM
  • Friday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
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