Sensitive films that give a permanent record of relative tissue densities when they are exposed to x-ray radiation. Highly calcified dense areas of bone or tooth substance will prevent the transmission of radiation and so will show as opaque or white areas on the film. The dark areas of film indicate areas of lower tissue density. They are used to identify any abnormalities in the teeth and gums that may need treatment.
A sensation of pain that occurs in an area which is different from the area causing the
problem. The very complex nature of the facial nerves sometimes makes it difficult
for a patient to accurately signify where the source of the pain originate e.g. at the
start of a dental abscess it is possible to perceive that the pain may even be coming
from the opposite jaw.
A mixture of nitrous oxide ["laughing gas"] and air is still used frequently as a very safe method of reducing pain. It is used in dentistry and midwifery in conjunction with local anaesthesia. The patient remains in a cooperative state of consciousness and the effects wear off very quickly.
The bone structure remaining following the loss or extraction of teeth. The lower (mandibular) ridge tends to suffer more from residual bone loss than the upper and this makes it more difficult to stabilise a lower denture.
The process of returning the tooth and its surroundings to its previous condition after
damage or loss has occurred.
Dental technology and materials have advanced rapidly in recent years. The more
advanced technical procedures require special skills and knowledge.
The chamber in the middle of a tooth that contains the nerve [pulp]. Root canal treatment is carried out when the pulp (or nerve) inside the tooth is damaged or becomes infected. If infected pulp is not treated, it may become an abscess.