For Kids

A few terms you might hear at the dentist.

Abscess: a pocket or sack of pus and gas produced by an infection

Caries: tooth decay, also known as a cavity

Endodontist: a dentist who specializes in root canals and treating disease and infection of tooth pulp

Gingiva: also called gums

Local anesthesia: numbs a specific part of the body to prevent pain during a procedure

Occlusion: the alignment of the teeth of the lower jaw with the corresponding teeth of the upper jaw when closed

Malocclusion: a defect in the normal position of the upper and lower teeth when the mouth is closed

Orthodontist: a dentist who specializes in the diagnosis, prevention and correction of malocclusion

Overbite: a type of malocclusion where the upper and lower teeth overlap when they close together

Overjet: a type of malocclusion where the upper front teeth angle horizontally outwards; also called horizontal overlap or "buck teeth"

Pedodontist: a dentist who specializes in the care and treatment of children's teeth; also called pediatric dentist

General anesthesia: renders patient unconscious so they will not feel or remember a procedure

Primary teeth: a child's temporary or "baby" teeth, which include four incisors, two canines, and four molars in each jaw

Permanent teeth: replacing a child's primary teeth, this second set of teeth—32 in all—includes two canines and 10 premolars and molars in each jaw