Glossary of Cosmetic Dentistry Terms
Bonding (Adhesion) - Adhering tooth-colored resin materials to tooth surface to create a bond.
Bonding (Composite Resin) - Process by which enamel-like resin is bonded to a tooth's surface, sculpted to an ideal shape, hardened, and polished.
Bridge - Fixed or removable dental appliance which replaces lost teeth.
Composite Resin - Tooth-colored filling material made of resin reinforced with silica or porcelain particles.
Cosmetic Contouring - Reshaping the natural teeth to make them straighter or more youthful in appearance.
Cosmetic Dentistry - The field of dentistry dedicated to the art and science of enhancing a person's smile, overall appearance, and oral health.
Crown - A cap, cover, or restoration to replace the missing portion of a tooth. (This procedure can also correct general bite with individual teeth or replace missing teeth.)
Dentin - The layer of tooth structure under the enamel.
Diastema - The space between two teeth.
Enamel - The hard, white outer layer of the tooth that covers and protects the dentin.
Fixed Bridge - A fixed dental appliance (used to replace a missing tooth/teeth) cemented or bonded to adjacent teeth which have been prepared to provide anchor supports.
Gingiva - Gum tissue.
High Lipline - Where the widest smile meets the gum tissue above the teeth.
Incisor - The central or lateral front teeth with cutting edges (4 upper and 4 lower).
Inlay - A porcelain, resin, or gold filling (made to fit a prepared cavity) cemented or bonded in place to help restore a decayed or broken tooth.
Dental Implant - A fixed dental appliance used to replace missing teeth.
Laminate Veneer - A thin porcelain resin shell that is bonded to the enamel of front teeth.
Laminating - The process of applying a thin porcelain or composite resin veneer to a tooth.
Low Lipline - Where the widest smile barely reveals the bottom edges of the upper front teeth.
Malocclusion - A bad bite caused by incorrect positions of the upper or lower teeth.
Midline - An imaginary vertical line that divides the face into equal parts.
Onlay - A porcelain, resin, or gold filling that protects a tooth by covering the chewing surface.
Partial Denture (Bridge) - A fixed or removable dental appliance that replaces missing natural teeth.
Porcelain - A ceramic, tooth-colored material that fuses at high temperatures to form a hard, enamel-like substance.
Posterior-bonded Composite Resin - Tooth-colored fillings primarily used for back teeth.
Resin-bonded Bridge - A thin metal or glass fiber-reinforced bridge which requires slight or no reduction of anchor teeth.
Rubber Dam - A thin rubber sheet applied to teeth to control moisture during dental procedures.
Veneers (Porcelain or Composite) - Ultra-thin, custom-made laminates bonded to teeth, especially effective for repairing chipped, cracked, or worn teeth.
Walking Bleach - A method used to lighten a tooth that has darkened after root canal treatment.
Whitening - The process of brightening stained, discolored, or dull teeth with in-office power method or dentist-supervised, at-home whitening systems.