Family Dental Group of Brewster
1620 Route 22, Brewster, NY 10509

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
The staff is kind curtious and friendly. They put you right at ease. The dentists are gentle, informative, and warm.. I would highly recommend !!!!
Loretta S.
Dr was knowledgeable. Also very thorough, pain free quick work.
Marcella O.
I went here for my Dental Cleaning and they are kind and very professional.
Geo L.
The doctor listen and explain very well
Martha C.
My dental hygienist, Hope, was amazing! We had a great conversation while she took excellent care of my teeth and gave me great feedback. She found a long-time customer!!
Caitlin K.
Dr. Ayuko and Dr. Gelbart are both wonderful!! I would recommend Dr. Ayuko for general dentistry. He is caring and very attentive to his patients. I would recommend Dr. Gelbart for implants as he is […]
Anonymous
I went there today. They got me in the chair 15 min early. James was the assistant did a great job. All the employees there are great.
Mike R.
Did not feel any pain while he gave me the needles, unbelievable! Friendliest staff!
Mike D.
Great professional family oriented service…from the front desk to the back, all were amazing. Michelle, Kristen, Katarina and of course Dr G.
Christina F.
I went in for a wisdom teeth extraction. I had went in for an initial consultation and Dr. Oh had informed me that I needed to get all four of them extracted. Dr. Oh was very thorough with what he […]
Nicole B.
Excellent care
Irma K.
Been a patient at Family Dental for years now and travel all the way from Long Island there too. Dr Gelbart and his staff are kind, caring and very gentle. The staff are all upbeat and happy which is […]
Deborah T.
Considering how nervous I was about getting tooth extracted, Dr. Oh and the nurses eased my fears and were right on the mark with everything they told me to expect. I have never had a negative […]
Donna N.
I’ve been going to Family Dental for a little over a year now and all the work they do is great. I see Dr.Gurfinkel and her assistant Terry and I highly recommend them. They make you feel […]
Marissa M.
Dr. Friedman and Jessica did a great job straightening my teeth with the invisalign treatment. I am very happy with the results and Dr. Friedman is very attentive to his patients. Thank you.
Dan E.
This visit was for my routine cleaning. The hygienist, Renee, was both professional and personable. She explained everything she was going to do and answered all my questions. I then had a check-up […]
Ronald P.
The visit was a 6 month cleaning with Hope. She was excellent; she was very gentle and professional.
Anne M.
Dr. Gurfinkel and Terry are the BEST! Terry is so funny and immediately made me feel comfortable, which is rare because i hate going to the dentist. They both made my visit very fun, and super quick!
Mitty F.
Always a good experience. The staff is professional and personable. The dentist and dental hygienist were great.
Chanel H.
The cleaning was fantastic Reena the higenist was the best hope to see her again
Thomas G.
Office Hours
Mon. – 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Tue. – 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Wed. – 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Thu. – 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Fri. – 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Sat. – 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Phone: (845) 764-9263
Fax: (845) 279-7915
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For appointments, call us at: (845) 764-9263 or
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For appointments, call: (845) 764-9263
Office Hours
  • Monday 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Tuesday 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Wednesday 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Thursday 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Friday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Saturday 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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  • Phone: (845) 764-9263
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