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Glossary of terms

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Abutment: A component that rests upon an implant. It passes from the implant through into the mouth, and it is to the abutmernt that the final crown or bridge is connected (See Diagram 1).

Diagram 1
Diagram 1

Bone graft: Bone taken from one part of the body and used to build up another area which is lacking in bone - occasionally necessary in order for some patients to have implants.

Bony ridge (alveolus): The part of the jaw in which the teeth are (or were) contained.

Cleft lip: Birth deformity where there is failure of the upper lip to be joined together below the nose - often associated with a cleft palate.

CT scan: Specialised type of x-ray examination which provides accurate three dimensional imaging, in this case of the jaws.

Dental technician: Precision technician who undertakes the laboratory construction of crowns, bridges and dentures, working in association with dentists and prosthodontists.

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Technical term for an implant, the part which is inside the bone like the root of a tooth (see Diagram 2).

Diagram 2
Diagram 2

General anaesthetic: Being put completely to sleep for a surgical procedure (always in hospital).

Genioplasty: Surgical procedure to make the chin bigger or smaller.

Impacted teeth: Teeth which have been prevented from growing into the mouth, usually because of a lack of space.

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Jaw cyst:
Hollow fluid-filled benign lesion, slowly enlarging, often arising from impacted teeth, and often becoming infected

Local anaesthetic: Injections placed in mouth to make one area go numb.

Malocclusion: Bad bite.

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Oral and maxillofacial surgeon:
Dental specialist in the field of surgery to mouth and jaws

Orthodontist: Dental specialist concerned with correcting malocclusion and straightening teeth using "braces".

Osseointegration: Process where bone grows directly against implant, locking it into the jaw.

Palate: Roof of the mouth - front part is the hard palate and back part is the soft palate.

Prosthodontist: Dental specialist in the field of crowns, bridges and dentures.

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Temporomandibular joint or "TMJ":
The jaw joint.

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