The Dentist From a Child' Point of View

Going To The Dentist? Know The Following Terminology

Do you always feel like the dentist is speaking a different language when you visit for your semi-annual cleaning and inspection? If so, it helps to know the following dental terminology so that you can be in the know about what is happening with your teeth.


Has a dentist ever made a comment about the cusp of one of your teeth? This means that they are talking about the part of your tooth that has a point on it. Your front teeth will have a single cusp, which is quite easy to understand. The bicuspid tooth is a premolar, which has two cusps on the tooth. 


The occlusal surface of your molars and premolars is the surface on the top of the teeth that is used to bite. This is the surface where you are likely to have food get stuck in after eating, and it is more likely to have a cavity form as a result. 

Facial and Lingual

Two terms that are used to describe the back and front surface of your teeth are facial and lingual. The facial side can be seen when you smile and people look at your face, which makes it easy to remember. The lingual side is on the rear surface that faces your tongue. 

Plaque and Tartar

Know that plaque and tartar are actually the same substance but in different states. When you have the sticky white substance on your teeth at the end of the day, it is formally known as plaque and can be easily removed by flossing and brushing your teeth every day. Leaving plaque on your teeth will cause it to calcify and turn into tartar, which is a very hard substance that is difficult to remove and can lead to tooth decay.


The scaling process is when the dentist removes that tartar or a stain from the surface of your teeth. They'll often use a dental scaler, which is a sharp tool designed to scrape the surface of the teeth. 


Dental bonding is a restorative dentistry procedure that may be necessary to fix a broken tooth. It involves using a resin that matches the color of your tooth and applying it to the tooth's surface in a way to reshape it. This can be done to restore part of a tooth that has broken off or to give the tooth a new shape that is more aesthetically pleasing. 

To learn more, contact a general dentist.