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Our glossary of terms helps you understand some of the common terms we use in cosmetic dentistry. If you are looking for a specific term we have not included, please let us know. As part of our ongoing commitment to our patients, we are dedicated to being as approachable and informative as possible.
Bonding (Adhesion) - Adhering tooth-coloured resin materials to tooth surface to create a bond.
Bonding (Composite Resin) - Process by which enamel-like resin is bonded to a tooth's surface, sculpted to an ideal shape, hardened, and polished.
Bonding - For chipped or cracked teeth, bonding is a process in which an enamel-like material is applied to a tooth's surface, sculpted into shape, hardened, and then polished for an ideal smile.
Bridge - Fixed or removable dental appliance which replaces lost teeth.
Composite Resin - Tooth-coloured filling material made of resin reinforced with silica or porcelain particles.
Cosmetic Contouring - Reshaping the natural teeth to make them straighter or more youthful in appearance.
Cosmetic Dentistry - The field of dentistry dedicated to the art and science of enhancing a person's smile, overall appearance, and oral health.
Crown - A cap, cover, or restoration to replace the missing portion of a tooth. (This procedure can also correct general bite with individual teeth or replace missing teeth.)
Dentine - The layer of tooth structure under the enamel.
Diastema - The space between two teeth.
Enamel - The hard, white outer layer of the tooth that covers and protects the dentin.
Fixed Bridge - A fixed dental appliance (used to replace a missing tooth/teeth) cemented or bonded to adjacent teeth which have been prepared to provide anchor supports.
Gingiva - Gum tissue.
High Lipline - Where the widest smile meets the gum tissue above the teeth.
Incisor - The central or lateral front teeth with cutting edges (4 upper and 4 lower).
Inlay - A porcelain, resin, or gold filling (made to fit a prepared cavity) cemented or bonded in place to help restore a decayed or broken tooth.
Implants - A replacement for dentures, implants are a stronger, more attractive option for replacing missing or lost teeth. An anchor is placed in the patient's jaw, and a life-like ceramic restoration is built around it and matched to the tooth colour.
Laminate Veneer - A thin porcelain resin shell that is bonded to the enamel of front teeth.
Laminating - The process of applying a thin porcelain or composite resin veneer to a tooth.
Low Lipline - Where the widest smile barely reveals the bottom edges of the upper front teeth.
Malocclusion - A bad bite caused by incorrect positions of the upper or lower teeth.
Midline - An imaginary vertical line that divides the face into equal parts.
Onlay - A porcelain, resin, or gold filling that protects a tooth by covering the chewing surface.
Partial Denture (Bridge) - A fixed or removable dental appliance that replaces missing natural teeth.
Porcelain - A ceramic, tooth-colored material that fuses at high temperatures to form a hard, enamel-like substance.
Posterior-bonded Composite Resin - Tooth-colored fillings primarily used for back teeth.
Resin-bonded Bridge - A thin metal or glass fiber-reinforced bridge which requires slight or no reduction of anchor teeth.
Rubber Dam - A thin rubber sheet applied to teeth to control moisture during dental procedures.
Veneers (Porcelain or Composite) - An increasingly popular procedure, veneers are ultra-thin, custom-made laminates that are fixed directly to the teeth. They are a great option for closing gaps, straightening crowding or disguising discoloured teeth.
Walking Bleach - A method used to lighten a tooth that has darkened after root canal treatment.
Whitening (bleaching) - The process of brightening stained, discoloured, or dull teeth with in-office power method or dentist-supervised, home-whitening systems. The most commonly prescribed cosmetic dental procedure, many whitening options are now available to consumers to fit all budgets. Only a dentist can safely get your teeth the whitest.