Dental Associates of Northern Virginia in Burke
6035 Burke Centre Pkwy, Suite #200, Burke, VA 22015

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
Great service!
Phillip F.
Great staff and great service! Very friendly! Highly recommend!
Arhum N.
Dr Steve Price, my dentist forever. He does it all, preventative, therapeutic and cosmetic. He’ the gold standard
Anne G.
Dr. Price and his staff members are great! They answer all my questions about my Invisilin, and got great outcome.
Leteberhan W.
I️ love this dental office, they’re extremely professional and thorough.
Jane B.
I’ve been coming to this dental office for years and they always do a great job. I am always happy walking out of their office.
Will P.
From the front staff Holly, Mary, Karen, Katie, And my dental hygienist Madeeha- it always feels like I’m coming to my family home and not a dental office. Great customer care & concer!
Sumaira T.
Very reliable and honest practice, professional and warm team..
Fatima L.
The friendliness and professionalism of all the staff.
Larry Z.
Wonderful work cleaning and inspecting my teet. Also the office personal are very nice and super ! helpful scheduling my appointments, and my ordering antibiotics. More than ” highly satisfied […]
Yavuz D.
I have been going to Dental Associates for a long time. I followed them from their Springfield office to the Burke office. The staff is always friendly and fun. If you are in the area, you should […]
Danilo B.
Great personalities and efficient, talented staff. Clean and bright office.
Susan M.
Fantastic service!! The people here are extremely friendly and supportive. Julie is an amazing dental hygienist. I’ve never been a huge fan of going to the dentist but they make the experience […]
David P.
Madeewa is very good. I always feel comfortable with her taking care of my teeth. Dr Price is very good as well.
Timothy S.
Everyone is friendly and professional. No drama,
James C.
Excellent dental care (new crown) I received from Dr Price
Paula F.
Julie is a great hygienist. She’s professional, cordial and very good at what she does. I’ve been a patient it in this practice for many years and wouldn’t go anywhere else.
Suzanne D.
Friendly staff, appeared to do good job, in and out, no wait.
Edward H.
Friendly staff and great sevice!
Siva Y.
Staff was very professional and friendly! Dr. Price was amazing! He explained in detail what I needed done and answered all my questions. Didn’t feel rushed! Would definitely recommend!
Hollie S.
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Tue. – 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wed. – 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thu. – 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri. – 7:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Phone: (703) 935-2879
Fax: (703) 239-1679
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  • Tuesday 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Thursday 7:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Friday 7:00 AM - 1:00 PM
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