Drs. Finkelman & Machlus, DDS
1755 Old York Road, Abington, PA 19001

Glossary of Dental Terms

Abscess

An infection in a tooth, often accompanied by swelling and inflammation.

 

Abutment

Tooth or tooth root that supports or stabilizes a bridge, denture, or other prosthetic appliance.

 

Adhesive Dentistry

Process in which composite resin is adhered to the existing enamel of a tooth. This can be used to repair or improve the appearance of a tooth.

 

Allergy

An abnormal reaction of the body to a drug or foreign substance.

 

Anesthesia

General or local insensibility to pain, induced by certain interventions or drugs to permit the performance of surgery or other painful procedures.

 

Anterior Teeth

The six upper and lower front teeth. These consist of incisors and cuspids.

 

Bicuspid or pre-molar

Any of eight teeth located in pairs on each side of the upper and lower jaws between the cuspids and molars.

 

Bonding

A procedure for restoring the discolored or damaged surface of a tooth by coating it with composite resin that adheres to the existing enamel.

 

Bridge

An artificial replacement of a missing tooth or teeth, attached by cement or composite resin to natural teeth or roots adjacent to the space.

 

Crown

1.             The part of a tooth that is covered by enamel and not covered by gum tissue.

2.             An artificial substitute, as of gold or porcelain, which entirely covers the anatomical crown of a tooth

 

Cuspid or canine

The four pointed or conical teeth also commonly known as ‘eyeteeth’.

 

DDS

Doctor of Dental Surgery

 

Dentin

Hard tissue that forms the inner layer of the structure of a tooth and is situated beneath the surface enamel

 

Dental implant

A metal screw (often titanium) that is surgically anchored in the gums or jawbone to support a dental appliance or replace a missing tooth.

 

Denture

An artificial replacement of some or all of the natural teeth

 

Disease of the gums

Periodontal disease (also called “Gum Disease” or “Periodontal Disease”) involves bacterial growth (a colorless film, called “plaque”) that gradually destroys the tissue surrounding the teeth. If not removed, plaque builds up on the teeth and ultimately irritates the gums and causes bleeding. If left untreated, bone and surrounding tissue will decay, resulting in loose teeth, or worse, tooth loss. More than 75 percent of Americans over 35 have some form of gum disease.

 

DMD

Doctor of Dental Medicine

 

Enamel

The hard layer covering of the crown of a tooth.

 

Endodontics

The area of dentistry concerned with the treatment of the dental pulp or nerve of the tooth.

 

Endodontists

Endodontists are dentists who have additionally 2-3 years of training following dental school and typically limit their practice to root canal therapy and root canal surgery. Very often Endodontists earn a graduate degree (Master’s degree) as well as specialized certified training. While some Dentists perform root canals themselves, generally Dentists will refer a patient requiring Endodontics to a trained Endodontist.

 

Filling

A substance, such as metal, porcelain or resin, that is used to replace lost tooth structured caused by decay.

 

Gingivitis

Inflammation of the gums.

 

Halitosis

Bad breath

 

Incisors

The four front teeth in either the upper or lower jaw.

 

Malocclusion

Faulty contact between the upper and lower teeth, causing these teeth to be misaligned.

 

Mandible

The lower jaw

 

Maxilla

The upper jaw

 

Molars

Teeth for grinding food, located in the back of the mouth on either side.

 

Nerve (root) canal

Hollow passage inside of a tooth, inhabited by nerve tissue.

 

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

Surgery to correct a wide spectrum of diseases or injuries upper jaw or face.

 

Oral Surgeon

An Oral Surgeon (“Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon” or OMFS) first receive their training in dentistry and then continue further specialization in treating the areas of the mouth, jaws and the face as well as associated structures. While Oral Surgeons often additionally go on to study medicine and may go so far to take a Medical Degree (MD), a medical degree is not required for an OMFS to practice. Oral & maxillofacial surgery is universally recognized as a one of the nine specialties of dentistry.

 

Orthodontics

Orthodontics is an area of dentistry that involved the treatment of improper bites (“malocclusions”) making use of a variety of devises, most commonly, braces, to move teeth or adjust underlying bone. The word comes from the Greek words ortho meaning straight and odons meaning tooth.

 

Orthodontist

Orthodontists first complete 4 years of dental school training (DDS). Orthodontists additionally complete 2-3 of residency training focused on the specific treatment and realignment of misaligned teeth with devises including braces, retainers and other methods.

 

Overbite

Condition in which the upper incisors overlap the lower ones.

 

Pediatric Dentistry

The practice of dentistry on children.

 

Pediatric Dentist

Pediatric Dentists (or Pediodontists) study an additional 2 years in a residency program following their graduation from dental school. As specified by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, Pediatric Dentists study advanced diagnostic and surgical procedures, along with child psychology and clinical management, oral pathology, child-related pharmacology, radiology, child development, management of oral/facial trauma, care for patients with special needs, conscious sedation and general anesthesia.

 

Periodontics/Periodontist

Periodontists typically study for an additional 3 years following dental school. During their clinical training, Periodontists are involved in learning both the treatment, as well as prevention techniques for periodontal diseases. Periodontists may also study advanced surgical techniques such as periodontal plastic surgery, and dental implant placement.According to the American Academy of Periodontology there are currently 52 institutions offer advanced training programs in periodontics in the United States

 

Periodontal Disease(also known as Periodontics)

Periodontal disease, also called “gum disease”, involves bacterial growth (a colorless film, called “plaque”) that gradually destroys the tissue surrounding the teeth. When plaque builds up on the teeth, it can result in gum irritation and possibly bleeding. If left untreated, bone and surrounding tissue will decay, resulting in loose teeth, or worse, tooth loss

 

Plaque

Deposit of saliva, food and bacteria that accumulates on the teeth in the from of a whitish, sticky substance.

 

Prosthodontics

The area of dentistry that deals with the replacement of missing teeth or jaw structures by bridges, dentures, or other artificial devices.

 

Prosthodontist

Specialist who must complete dental training (DDS) and then continue for an additional 3 years of specialty training in the area of prosthodontics (i.e. implants, esthetic and reconstructive dentistry). Cosmetic dentistry, implants and joint problems all fall under the field of prosthodontics

 

Root

The embedded portion of a tooth that connects it to the jaw.

 

Root Canal

The space inside the root of the tooth. This space contains the pulp.

Also, this is the term commonly used for root canal therapy, a procedure in which the nerve and tissues are removed from the canal and replaced with filling material.

 

Splint

Means of securing one or more loose teeth to one or more healthy, secure teeth.

 

 

Tartar

Calculus on the teeth; a hard, yellowish substance that attracts plaque.

 

TMJ

Temporomandibular joint syndrome and TMJ joint disorders are medical problems related to the jaw joint. The TMJ connects the lower jaw to the skull.

 

Veneer

A thin layer of plastic or porcelain applied to the outside of the tooth for aesthetic purposes.

 

Wisdom Teeth

Third molars; the last teeth to appear in the mouth. These teeth usually appear between the ages of 18 and 25. They are so called because they appear later in life when a person is physically mature.

Read What Our Patients Say
Patient Reviews
Excellent level of care.
Irving T.
How can you lose in a caring and professional environment where the staff are just as pleased with their work as you are?
Patrick M.
Everyone was excellent!
Barton A.
Exemplary levels of care, intellect, communication, attention to detail, and all-out "Balls To The Wall" application of all of the most advanced […]
Patrick M.
Over the years I've had many Dentists ranging from one really bad one to the absolute best, Dr. Finkelman. Thank you!
Paul S.
Fabulous job. I was in and out in a half hour, and the novacaine wore off by the time I got home. The filling looks fantastic, and the tooth issues […]
Patrick M.
No waiting. Dr. Finkelman explained each process as it took place.
Carol M.
For a procedure I dread, both dentist and assitant were sensitive and explained what they were doing.
Cathy R.
All the dentists I have been to these two know what to do...I used to ask my old dentist what he's doing today with dr machlus I just let him do his […]
Christoph D.
My anxiety was high while waiting to have my small procedure done, however I put right at ease when I sat in the chair. Although timely, I was made […]
Jennifer R.
The staff was very friendly and I received a very thorough examination.
Cindy S.
I had an excellent experience. I recovered quickly from my root canal.
Nyoka M.
No complaints at all - Dr. Finkelman was kind and considerate of how I felt.
Anonymous
Dr. Machlus and Donna are wonderful!! Very kind and gentle!!
Denise G.
excellent visit to the dentist....everyone was friendly and efficient....state of the art office equipment
Cheryl H.
Professional and Caring.
Deborah D.
Have been coming to this office for many, many years. I am always treated with respect and professionally.
Pat D.
Excellent customer service and expert dental work.
Bobbie B.
As a person that has great anxiety when it comes to dentists, Dr. Machlus was exceptional. The entire staff was warm and welcoming. They were […]
Rebecca D.
Dr. Machlus and his staff are very thorough, gentle, caring health professionals.
Irving T.
Always a very satisfied patient. Good careful treatment. Appointments are efficient and work is top notch.
Richard H.
Professional, courtious service
Peter D.
Dr. Machlus was wonderful with my daughter. He explained everything that he was going to do and made sure she was comfortable the entire visit.
Elizabeth D.
Dr. Finkelman was great!
Madalynn S.
Dr. Stephen Finkelman and his staff are wonderful. I know that I am in good hands whenever I go. The office is clean, the staff is friendly and they […]
Dianne G.
Always a great experience. Hardly any pain and very caring. Informs you of every step as he does it.
Anonymous
We love Dr. Machlus!!!
Anonymous
Dr. Finkelman is wonderful; staff is pleasant and efficient. The music in the exam room was too loud for my taste.
Christine C.
My experience with the doctor I was very pleased! Thank you for making my visited a pleasantly one.
Connie P.
I always feel confident that my teeth are in the best hands when Dr. Machlus is treating me. Thank you.
Rhea C.
Great service, excellent work, cheerful staff. What more could you want?
Patrick M.
Dr. Machlus almost makes going to the dentist pleasant, as much possible by being pleasant, that is. He is a caring man, and not only a doctor but a […]
Arthur V.
Dr. Machlus and Donna are very patient and caring!!
Denise G.
Taken right on time. Treated in a professional manner. Almost getting to be fun----
Pat D.
So painless that I fell asleep during a root canal.
Terrell C.
The staff and Doctors are wonderful. I went in thinking I had a cavity. My appointment was at 4:30 pm and the office closed at 5:00pm. It turned out […]
Karen J.
Could not ask for a more a courteous, efficient and professional staff and satisfying outcome.
Richard C.
I had a question of an item Dr Finkleman had done to my mouth. I returned and he explained again and things are perfect.
Audrey R.
I had a pleasant experience! Everyone was so friendly, and the service was so quick.
Khadijah B.
I only see doctor Finkelman so my referances will be for him and his work.
Anonymous
Very kind and great service.
Kiri R.
Dr. Machlus is the most caring and skilled Dentist. His staff are just as warm and professional.
Harra H.
Good experience. Well explained.
Craig N.
Very nice staff, was a little nervous and embarrassed about my teeth but they made me feel at ease.
Anonymous
Very caring and professional staff
Harra H.
Have been with Dr. Machlus for many, many years. He is always the professional and you leave his office knowing that you were in good hands. He only […]
Daniel B.
Dr. Machlus and his team are very caring and meticulous in their work.
Irving T.
personable, professional, proficient
Richard C.
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Mon. – 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tue. – 7:45 AM - 5:00 PM
Wed. – 9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Thu. – 7:45 AM - 5:00 PM
Fri. – 9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Sat. – Closed
Sun. – Closed
Phone: (215) 310-5826
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For appointments, call: (215) 310-5826
Office Hours
  • Monday 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Tuesday 7:45 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Wednesday 9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
  • Thursday 7:45 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Friday 9:30 AM - 4:00 PM
  • Saturday Closed
  • Sunday Closed
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