Garden State Dental of East Brunswick
422 Highway 18 North, East Brunswick, NJ 08816

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
Love coming here one of best offices in town wouldn’t go anywhere but here love them thank u for your services
Ellen E.
Been coming to Garden State for years as well as my family…Great Dentist and staff.
MJ M.
I hate going to the dentist but they make it much easier on me and they are always so nice and helpful. Alina, the assistant was amazing!!! She was calm and supportive and so sweet to me. Made my […]
Donna G.
I love this place, there’s never any wait and the staff is extremely friendly. I recommend everyone to this dentist
Dora F.
I’ve been coming to East Brunswick office for the past 7 years. Great staff; doctors are open and honest about the services you need. They make you feel at home. I highly recommend!
Yvonne P.
I have been coming here for over 15+ years! Great staff, always kind and professional. Would definitely recommend!
Stephanie M.
Excellent service and everything went smoothly and painlessly. Highly recommend this office
Michael B.
Dr.Mark is da bomb!
Brian Y.
This is an amazing office with an excellent staff. They are very accommodation with all of your needs, whether it be rescheduling or if you are running late. In addition, the dentist at the office […]
Justin P.
Let’s just say that if every doctor’s office/dentist was like Garden State Dental, the world would easily be a better place. The first time I went there for an x-ray/cleaning, I went to […]
Michelle T.
Great office highly recommend thank u for great service
George M.
Love this office!
Ruthann C.
Dr litman and everyone at garden State dental are awesome people. Highly recommend!!
Michael H.
We have been going to Garden State Dental for more than 12 years and we always leave happy with our experience. They treat us with kindness and respect. We love coming here and love the people […]
Zahelis F.
Very nice staff! And the dentist is very nice too! I switched from another dentist and I am glad i made the switch!
John L.
I have been a patient of Garden state dental since I was little . I don’t think I will ever find a dental office like this one. Friendly and professional. Great office!!!!!
Dena K.
Great office. Highly recommend.
Jesus G.
Excellent experience! Always a pleasant check up.
Brian W.
The best service I have ever had. The front desk has two warm kind and accommodating young ladies. The office manager has worked extremely hard on my behalf several times. I moved 35. Miles away and […]
Robert C.
Dr Littman is the best. Caring about his patients is his top priority. He always makes sure you are comfortable and pain free. I have already recommended GSD to my friends.
Mildred C.
Office Hours
Mon. – 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Tue. – 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Wed. – 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Thu. – 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Phone: (732) 276-4135
Fax: (732) 432-5986
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For appointments, call: (732) 276-4135
Office Hours
  • Monday 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
  • Tuesday 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Wednesday 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Thursday 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
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  • Phone: (732) 276-4135
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