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Basic Terms Used in Charting
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Basic Terms Used in Charting


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  • 1. Basic Terms Used in Charting
  • 2.
    • Restoration – an agent that is effective in replacing the missing tooth structure. Patients may refer to them as fillings. A number of different materials are used in dental restorations, including gold, amalgam, and composite.
  • 3.
    • Overhang – excessive restorative material normally found interproximally near the gingiva.
    • Gold foil – a restoration created when several layers of pure gold are placed in the preparation. A gold foil is not a commonly placed restoration today.
  • 4.
    • Caries (decay) – diseased portion of the tooth. Also referred to as cavities.
    • Incipient – beginning decay that has not broken through the enamel. Appears as a chalky area on the tooth, it is not yet decay, but the surface has begun to decalcify.
    • Recurrent – decay that is occurring in the same place again, either under or around a restoration.
  • 5.
    • Extraction – removal of a tooth or teeth.
    • Drifting – movement of a tooth into a space created by a missing tooth. Drifting can occur opposite or adjacent to the missing tooth.
    • Impaction – a tooth that is unable to erupt into its proper position.
  • 6.
    • Abscess – a localized area of infection.
    • Root canal (endodontic treatment) – when the pulp is removed and replaced with a filling material.
    • Apicoectomy – surgical removal of the root tip and cleaning out the infected area around it.
  • 7.
    • Mobility – When the tooth moves in the socket, normally due to periodontal disease or trauma.
    • Periodontal pocket - the space in the gingival sulcus created by periodontal disease. It is measured by a periodontal probe in millimeters.
  • 8.
    • Crown – a restoration that is cemented onto the tooth and completely covers the crown of the tooth. Often called a cap by the patient but not by the dental professional.
    • Bridge – a prosthetic device placed in the mouth where a tooth is missing, normally attached on each side and covering the space created by the missing tooth.
  • 9.
    • Abutment – a tooth, root, or implant used for the retention of a fixed or removable prosthesis.
    • Pontic – portion of a bridge that replaces the missing tooth.
    • Cantilever bridge – attached on one side only.
    • Maryland bridge – has wings that attach the pontic to the lingual surface of the abutment teeth.
  • 10.
    • Denture – removable prosthesis that replaces the complete arch of a patient’s dentition.
    • Partial denture – removable prosthesis that is constructed when some of the natural teeth are still present. Artificial teeth mounted on a metal framework.