Glossary from our Cary Dentists

Dental Terms Explained by Beavers Dentistry

Do you know the difference between an onlay or a dental crown? How about silver and white fillings? This guide can help you understand some complex dental terms. We also explain differences between similar terms that you hear frequently. Our Cary dentists are always happy to help you understand your suggested treatment, enhancement options, and the details behind our processes.

Bonding – Bonding is the use of composite resin to restore teeth.

Cavity – As a tooth decays, holes – or cavities – can form. If you have a cavity, you will need to get a filling to restore your tooth’s structure.

CEREC TechnologyCEREC stands for: Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics. Instead of creating tooth molds for restoration services, 3D imaging is used to quickly create veneers, crowns, and other synthetic parts of the tooth in a single visit.

Composite Resin – A composite resin, or white filling, is a mixture of plastic and glass. This material can either act as a dental filling or additive to replace chips and complete gaps. Composite resin is frequently used in restoration services.

Crown – A crown is a cap that covers your tooth. Adding crowns involves drilling teeth down until only the core structure is remaining. The crown is then attached to cover the entire tooth.

Dental Implants – While dentures rest on top of your gums, a dental implant is permanently attached to the bone. They can be crafted to blend flawlessly with the rest of your teeth.

Gum Grafting – If you suffer receding gums, where the tissue recedes and exposes your tooth, you may need gum tissue grafts. The procedure involves removing tissues from the roof of your mouth and attaching to your gums.

Inlay – A dental inlay is a filling that may replace a large portion of your tooth. It fills a concave area of the tooth, never extending beyond the cusps.

Onlay – A dental onlay is a composite that extends beyond the cusps of the tooth. When a full crown (or cap) is not necessary, but a large part of the tooth is damaged, an onlay can restore its shape.

Root Canal – When your tooth has a deep infection at the root, a root canal is necessary. This procedure involves drilling down into the tooth to reach the infection, cleaning the damaged areas, and filling in what has been removed.

Sealant – Dental sealant is a treatment that is meant to prevent tooth decay. It involves coating the surfaces of the back teeth, where cavities typically occur.

Silver Filling – Silver fillings – or amalgam fillings – are mixtures of mercury, silver, tin, and copper. They are often used to fill cavities.

VeneerVeneers are cosmetic enhancements that are attached to a tooth’s surface. These thin shells of porcelain or resin composite can dramatically improve the shape and color of teeth.

White Filling – A white filling, or composite resin, is a mixture of plastic and glass. This material can either act as a dental filling or additive to replace chips and complete gaps.

For any of your questions about dental treatments, procedures, and routine maintenance, call our dental office in Cary at (919) 467-0654.