are some answers to common dental questions. If you
have any questions regarding our services at Signature Smiles or your
oral health please call our offices and we will gladly provide additional
dental education. (516) 487-2022 or (718)
224-0680 or (516) 883 0584. Dentist Yuval
Spector and dentist Daniela
Spector believe in providing education to you and your
family so that you may maintain a healthy smile.
is tooth whitening?
A bleaching process that reverses discolorations of the outside layer
of tooth structure (enamel) to achieve a whiter appearance. There is
no natural tooth structure loss and the immediate results are attractive.
No anesthetic is required for tooth whitening.
are porcelain veneers?
Porcelain veneers are a thin, semi-translucent covering custom made
to fit over an existing tooth. They are permanently bonded with a special
resin to the front of the tooth. They are extremely durable and strong
and can last for many years. They are resistant to stains and chipping
as well. Maintaining routine exams and cleaning will ensure your veneers
last a long time. Click here for our
is a crown?
A crown or cap is a tooth-like covering placed over an existing tooth.
The purpose of a crown is to strengthen, restore and improve the appearance
of a natural tooth. A crown is also used to accommodate the attachment
of a fixed bridge or protect the structure of a tooth that is fractured.
More than 90 million people suffer from chronic halitosis or bad breath.
Bacteria generally causes the odor from the decay of food particles
and poor oral hygiene. The decay and debris produce a sulfur compound
that causes the unpleasant odor. Bad breath also may occur in people
who have a medical infection, Xerostomia (dry mouth), diabetes, gum
disease kidney failure, or a liver malfunction and tobacco also contribute
to this problem. Cancer patients who undergo radiation therapy may experience
dry mouth. Stress, dieting, age and hormonal changes can have an effect
on your breath as well.
do I control halitosis?
It is critical to maintain good oral hygiene, such as brushing and flossing
your teeth at least twice a day. To help odor control brush your tongue
as well and use a tongue scraper to remove built up bacteria. Chewing
sugarless gum may also be helpful in odor control. Dental checkups will
help detect any physical problems and also help get rid of the plaque
and bacteria that build up on your teeth. Drs.
Spector may determine that the problem is caused from
an internal source, such as an infection. In this instance, you would
be referred to your medical physician.
I be concerned about gum disease?
Your oral health affects your overall health. Researchers are discovering
possible links between periodontal infections and other diseases throughout
the body. Current studies suggest that there may be a link between periodontal
(gum) disease, heart disease and other health conditions. Research also
suggests that gum disease may be a more serious risk factor for heart
disease than smoking, cholesterol, hypertension, gender and age. New
studies suggest that people who have gum disease seem to be at a higher
risk for heart attacks, the relationship of this is being rigorously
studied. The current theory is that bacteria present in infected gums
can come loose and move throughout the body. The same bacteria that
cause gum disease and irritate your gums might travel to your arteries.
Researchers are unsure what causes the bacteria to become mobile, but
it has been suggested that bacteria can be dislodged and enter the bloodstream
during tasks as simple as brushing, flossing or even chewing. Your best
protection is to maintain a healthy mouth.
should I do?
The best way to prevent gum disease is to brush and floss carefully
and consistently in the first place, in addition to regular professional
cleanings. Dr. Yuval Spector
or Dr. Daniela Spector conducts
a general periodontal preventive maintenance exam during your regular
check-up. There are many new treatments available to control and help
reverse gum disease.
American Dental Hygienists' Association, CDA Journal, The American Heart
Association, JADA (Journal of the American Dental Association)
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Condensed Dental Glossary
listed a condensed dental glossary for you to become familiar with terms
associated with dentistry.
- Acute or chronic, localized inflammation, with a collection of pus,
associated with tissue destruction and swelling.
ABUTMENT - A tooth or
implant used to support a prosthesis.
ALVEOLAR – This
is referring to the bone to which a tooth is attached.
AMALGAM - Alloy used in
direct dental restorations.
ANALGESIA - Loss of pain
sensations without loss of consciousness.
ANESTHESIA - Partial or
total absence of sensation to stimuli.
ANTERIOR – In reference
to the teeth and tissues located towards the front of the mouth - maxillary
and mandibular incisors and canines.
APEX - The tip or end
of the root end of the tooth.
ANTERIOR - Refering to
the teeth and tissues located towards the front of the mouth - maxillary
and mandibular incisors and canines.
APEX - The tip or end
of the root end of the tooth.
BENIGN - The mild character
of an illness or the non-malignant character of a neoplasm.
BICUSPID - A premolar
tooth; a tooth with two cusps.
BILATERAL - Pertaining
to, or occurring on, both sides.
BIOPSY – The process
of removing tissue for histologic evaluation.
BITEWING RADIOGRAPH –
An interproximal view radiograph of the coronal portion of the tooth.
BONDING – This is
the process by which two or more components are made integral by mechanical
and/or chemical adhesion at their interface.
BRIDGE - A fixed partial
denture which is a prosthetic replacement of one or more missing teeth
cemented or attached to the abutment teeth or implant abutments adjacent
to the space; removable partial denture (removable bridge) is a prosthetic
replacement of one or more missing teeth on a framework that can be
removed by the patient.
BRUXISM – Basically
the parafunctional grinding of the teeth.
CALCULUS – A hard
deposit of mineralized plaque, which is attached to crowns and/or roots
CANAL - A relatively narrow
tubular passage or channel; space inside the root portion of a tooth
containing pulp tissue; the passage which transmits vessels and nerves
through the jaw to branches that distributes them to the teeth.
CANTILEVER EXTENSION –
This is part of a fixed prosthesis that is supported at one end only.
CARIES - Common term used
for tooth decay.
CAVITY - Decay in tooth
caused by caries; also referred to as carious lesion.
CEMENTUM – The hard
connective tissue covering the tooth root.
CLEFT PALATE – A
congenital deformity resulting in lack of fusion of the soft and/or
hard palate, either partial or complete.
COMPOSITE - A dental restorative
material made up of disparate or separate parts.
CORONAL – Referring
to the crown of a tooth.
Anatomical crown - Portion of tooth normally
covered by, and including, enamel.
Abutment crown – An artificial crown
serving for the retention or support of a dental prosthesis.
Artificial crown – The restoration
covering or replacing the major part, or the entire clinical crown of
Clinical crown - Portion of a tooth not
covered by supporting tissues.
CROWN LENGTHENING - A
surgical procedure exposing more tooth for restorative purposes by apically
positioning the gingival margin and/or removing supporting bone.
CURETTAGE - The scraping
or cleaning the walls of a cavity or gingival pocket.
CUSP - A pointed or rounded
eminence on or near the masticating surface of a tooth.
CYST – A pathological
cavity containing fluid or soft matter.
DECAY - Term for carious
lesions in a tooth; decomposition of tooth structure.
DENTAL PROPHYLAXIS –
The scaling and polishing procedure performed to remove coronal plaque,
calculus, and stains.
DENTIN - Part of the tooth
that is beneath enamel and cementum.
DENTITION - The teeth
in the dental arch.
DENTURE - An artificial
substitute for natural teeth and adjacent tissues.
DENTURE BASE - Part of
a denture that makes contact with soft tissue and retains the artificial
DIASTEMA - A space, such
as one between two adjacent teeth in the same dental arch.
DISPLACED TOOTH - a partial
evulsion of a tooth
DISTAL – Pertaining
toward the back of the dental arch
DRY SOCKET – A localized
inflammation of the tooth socket following extraction due to infection
or loss of blood clot.
EDENTULOUS – Meaning
ENAMEL – The hard
calcified tissue covering dentin of the crown of tooth.
ENDODONTIST – A
dental specialist who limits practice to treating disease and injuries
of the pulp and associated perpendicular conditions.
EQUILIBRATION - The reshaping
of the occlusal surfaces of teeth to create harmonious contact relationships
between the upper and lower teeth.
EVULSION – A complete
separation of the tooth from its socket due to trauma.
EXCISION – The surgical
removal of bone or tissue.
EXOSTOSIS – An overgrowth
EXTRACORONAL – The
outside the crown of a tooth.
EXTRAORAL – Pertaining
to outside the oral cavity.
FACIAL - Surface of a
tooth directed toward the face and opposite the lingual surface.
FILLING - Term used for
the restoring of lost tooth structure by using materials such as metal,
alloy, plastic, or cement.
FORAMEN – A natural
opening into or through bone.
FURCATION - The anatomic
area of a multirooted tooth where the roots diverge.
GINGIVA – The soft
tissues overlying the crowns of unerupted teeth and encircling the necks
of those that have erupted.
GINGIVITIS – The
inflammation of gingival tissue without loss of connective tissue.
A surgical procedure to reshape gingiva to create a normal, functional
HEMISECTION – The
surgical separation of a multirooted tooth so that one root and/or the
overlaying portion of the crown can be surgically removed.
IMPACTED TOOTH - An unerupted
or partially erupted tooth that is positioned against another tooth,
bone, or soft tissue so that complete eruption is unlikely.
IMPLANT - material inserted
or grafted into tissue; dental implant - device specially designed to
be placed surgically within or on the mandibular or maxillary bone as
a means of providing for dental replacement.
INLAY - An intracoronal
The area between the adjoining surfaces of adjacent teeth.
INTRACORONAL – This
is referring to 'within' the crown of a tooth.
INTRAORAL - Inside of
KERATIN - a protein present
in all cuticular structures of the body, such as hair, epidermis, horns,
and the organic matrix of the enamel of the teeth.
LABIAL - Pertaining to
or around the lip.
LESION - An injury or
wound; area of diseased tissue.
LINGUAL - Pertaining to
or around the tongue.
MALAR - Pertaining to
MALIGNANT – To have
the properties of dysplasia, invasion, and metastasis.
MALOCCLUSION – The
improper alignment of biting or chewing surfaces of upper and lower
MANDIBLE – The lower
MARYLAND BRIDGE –
The trade name that has become synonymous with any resin bonded fixed
partial denture (bridge).
MAXILLA - The upper jaw.
MESIAL - Toward the midline
of the dental arch.
MOLAR - Teeth posterior
to the premolars on either side of the jaw; grinding teeth, having large
crowns and broad chewing surfaces.
MUCOUS MEMBRANE –
The lining of the oral cavity as well as other canals and cavities of
OBTURATOR - A disc or
plate, which closes an opening.
OCCLUSION – The
contact between biting or chewing surfaces of maxillary and mandibular
ONLAY - The restoration
made outside the oral cavity that replaces a cusp or cusps of the tooth,
which is then luted to the tooth.
OPERCULUM - Flap of tissue
over an unerupted or partially erupted tooth.
ORAL - Pertaining to the
ORAL AND MAXILLOFACIAL SURGEON
- Dental specialist whose practice is limited to the diagnosis, surgical
and adjunctive treatment of diseases, injuries, deformities, defects
and esthetic aspects of the oral and maxillofacial regions.
ORAL PATHOLOGY - Specialty
of dentistry and pathology concerned with recognition, diagnosis, investigation
and management of diseases of the oral cavity, jaws, and adjacent structures.
ORTHODONTIST - Dental
specialist whose practice is limited to the interception and treatment
of malocclusion of the teeth and their surrounding structures.
ORTHOGNATHIC – The
functional relationship of maxilla and mandible.
OSTEOPLASTY – A
surgical procedure that modifies the configuration of bone.
OSTEOTOMY – The
surgical cutting of bone.
OVERDENTURE – A
prosthetic device that is supported by retained teeth roots or implants.
PALATE - The hard and
soft tissues forming the roof of the mouth that separates the oral and
PALLIATIVE - An action
that relieves pain but is not curative.
PARTIAL DENTURE - Refers
to the prosthetic device that replaces the missing teeth on a framework
that can be removed by the patient.
PEDIATRIC DENTIST - Dental
specialist whose practice is limited to treatment of children from birth
PERIAPICAL - Area surrounding
the end of the tooth root.
PERICORONAL – Area
around the crown of a tooth.
PERIODONTAL - Pertaining
to the supporting and surrounding tissues of the teeth.
PERIODONTAL DISEASE –
The inflammatory process of the gingival tissues and/or periodontal
membrane of the teeth.
PERIODONTIST - Dental
specialist whose practice is limited to the treatment of diseases of
the supporting and surrounding tissues of the teeth.
The inflammation and loss of the connective tissue of the supporting
or surrounding structure of teeth with loss of attachment.
To surround a portion of the root of the tooth.
PLAQUE - Substance that
accumulates on teeth composed largely of bacteria and bacterial derivatives.
PONTIC - The term used
for the artificial tooth on a fixed partial denture.
POSTERIOR – Referring
to teeth and tissues towards the back of the mouth.
PRIMARY DENTITION - First
set of teeth.
PROPHYLAXIS – The
scaling and polishing procedure performed to remove coronal plaque,
calculus and stains.
PROSTHESIS – An
artificial replacement of any part of the body;
PROSTHODONTIST - Dental
specialist whose practice is limited to the restoration of the natural
teeth and/or the replacement of missing teeth with artificial substitutes.
PULP - Blood vessels and
nerve tissue that occupies the pulp cavity of a tooth.
PULP CAVITY - The space
within a tooth which contains the pulp.
PULPECTOMY – The
complete removal of pulp tissue from the root canal space.
PULPITIS – The inflammation
of the dental pulp.
QUADRANT - One of the
four equal sections into which the dental arches can be divided.
RADICULAR - Pertaining
to the root.
RADIOGRAPH - X-ray.
ROOT CANAL - The portion
of the pulp cavity inside the root of a tooth.
ROOT CANAL THERAPY - Treatment
of disease and injuries of the pulp and associated periradicular conditions.
SCALING – The removal
of plaque, calculus, and stain from teeth.
SEXTANT - One of the six
relatively equal sections into which a dental arch can be divided.
SPLINT - A device used
to support, protect, or immobilize oral structures that have been loosened,
replanted, fractured or traumatized
STOMATITIS – The
inflammation of the membranes of the mouth.
TEMPOROMANDIBULAR JOINT (TMJ)
- Connecting hinge mechanism between the mandible and base of the skull.
TEMPOROMANDIBULAR JOINT DISFUNCTION
– The abnormal functioning of temporomandibular joint.
TRISMUS – The restricted
ability to open the mouth.
UNERUPTED - Tooth/teeth
that have not penetrated into the oral cavity.
UNILATERAL - Pertaining
to or affecting one side.
VENEER - Construction
of crowns or pontics, a layer of tooth-colored material attached to
the surface by direct fusion, cementation, or mechanical retention;
also refers to a restoration that is luted to the tooth.
One or all of a series of surgical procedures designed to increase relative
alveolar ridge height.
XEROSTOMIA - The decrease
in salivary secretion that produces dryness of the oral mucosa and/or
YEAST - Term for a fungus.
ZYGOMATIC BONE –
The quadrangular bone on either side of face that forms the cheek prominence.
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