This vocabulary is listed in the order of the alphabet:
Most names of sicknesses are not in this vocabulary. Find the name of a
sickness in the Index and read about it in the book.
There are many words in this vocabulary that are not in the rest of the book,
but you may see them in other books or hear dentists use them.
Abscess A sac of pus caused by an infection.
For example, a boil.
Acid A strong liquid that is produced from
certain foods left in the mouth. Acid causes
both tooth decay and gum disease.
Acute Sudden and short-lived. An acute illness
is one that starts suddenly and lasts a short
time. The opposite of ‘chronic’.
Adrenaline Also called epinephrine. A drug
which stimulates the heart, used for severe
Adult teeth See Permanent teeth.
Allergy A bad reaction after breathing in,
eating, touching, or being injected with
something. The reaction may be itching,
sneezing, or difficult breathing.
Analgesic Medicine to calm pain. Aspirin,
acetaminophen (paracetamol), and codeine
are all analgesics.
Amalgam A special metal used in permanent
Anemia A disease in which the blood gets
thin. Signs include tiredness, pale skin, and
lack of energy.
Anesthetic A drug that causes the mouth or
other part of the body to feel numb.
Antibiotic Medicine that fights infections
caused by bacteria. A broad-spectrum
antibiotic such as tetracycline kills many
kinds of bacteria, while a narrow-spectrum
antibiotic like penicillin kills only a few
kinds of bacteria.
Appropriate Something that is the easiest,
safest, and most likely to work in a
particular situation or condition.
Arkansas stone A special stone used to
sharpen dental instruments.
Aspirate To breathe. An ‘aspirating syringe’ is
one that can ‘breathe’, or allow liquid to go
both in and out of the needle tip.
Baby teeth The first set of teeth. There are
20 baby teeth, which are also called milk
teeth or primary teeth.
Bacteria Tiny germs that you can only
see with a microscope and that cause many
different infectious diseases.
Beeswax Wax made by honey bees.
Bicuspids The teeth between the canine
teeth and the molars; premolars.
Bite (1) To cut with the teeth. (2) The way the
upper and lower teeth fit together when
Blood pressure The force, or pressure, of the
blood flowing through the blood vessels
(veins and arteries).
Blood vessels Tubes that carry blood through
the body. Veins and arteries.
Boil (1) To heat water until it bubbles. (2) A
swollen, inflamed lump with a pocket of
pus under the skin. A kind of abscess.
Brand name Trade name, the name
a company gives to its product. A
brand‑name medicine is sold under a
special name and is often more expensive
than the same generic medicine.
Bridge False teeth that are glued onto
several nearby healthy teeth.
Buccal Of the cheek. The buccal face of a
tooth is the side facing the check.
Bulk Large quantity or amount.
Calcium A nutritional element which makes
teeth strong and hard.
Calories Units of heat found in food, giving
energy for the body to use.