Dental Glossary

Abrasion


The loss of tooth structure caused by a hard toothbrush, poor brushing technique

 

Abscess


A localized infection in the bone or soft gum tissue; usually occurs at the end of the root tip.

 

Abutment


A tooth or implant used to support a prosthetic (crown or bridge 

 

Access


Availability of care for a patient.

 

Actual Charge


Actual dollar amount a dentist charges for services.

 

ADA


(American Dental Association®) A professional organization of dentists that promotes the field of dentistry   through education, research, advocacy and the development of standards.

 

Adjudication


Claim processing to determine eligibility and payment.

 

Age Limits


1) A minimum or maximum age sometimes set for coverage of certain dental procedures; 2)   A minimum age required by insurers in order to qualify for   individual coverage; 3) A maximum age for coverage for   dependent children under the policyholder’s policy.

 

Air Abrasion


The tiny particles of aluminum oxide blasted in a stream of water at the tooth to remove the decayed debris   and ruined enamel from cavities.

 

Allergy


An unfavorable reaction to a foreign substance or drug.

 

Alternate Benefit Provision


A provision in an insurance contract that applies when there are two or more clinically recommended dental services available to correct the same dental condition. The provision   determines that the insuring company will provide coverage for the less expensive service.

 

Alveolar Bone


The jaw bone to which the tooth is attached.

 

Amalgam


The most common material used in fillings; also known as "silver" fillings.

 

American Dental Association®


(ADA) A professional organization of dentists that promotes the field of dentistry through education, research,   advocacy and the development of standards.

 

Analgesia


An agent that lessens pain without loss of consciousness.

 

Anesthesia


An agent that removes the sensation of pain from the entire body, usually accompanied by loss of consciousness; see general anesthesia, IV sedation and local anesthesia.

 

Annual Maximum


The maximum dollar amount a program will pay toward the cost of dental care incurred by an individual or family during a defined one-year time period.

 

Anterior Teeth


The six upper or six lower front teeth.  

     

Antibiotic


A drug that stops or slows the growth of bacteria.

 

Apex


The tip or end of the root of a tooth.

 

Apicoectomy


The surgical removal of the apex (root tip) to treat a dead tooth.

 

Application


Information provided as a signed statement that an insurer uses to determine whether or not to issue an insurance policy.

 

Arch


The alignment of the upper or lower teeth.

 

Attrition


The loss of tooth structure due to natural wear.

 

Autoclave


A device used to sterilize instruments with pressurized steam.

        

Balance     Billing


The difference between the dentist’s normal charge and what the insurer pays for a given procedure. The member is responsible for paying that difference.

 

Base


The cement placed under a dental restoration to insulate the nerve chamber.

 

Benefits


1) The amount payable by the insurance company toward the cost of eligible covered services and procedures; 2) The services or procedures covered by the insurance plan.

 

Benefit Plan


A plan     that provides payments for covered services for covered individuals in return for a premium paid in advance (by the member, employer or both). Benefit plans typically include deductibles, maximums, coinsurances, and exclusions and limitations.

 

Bicuspid or Pre-Molar


The transitional teeth behind the cuspids (pointed teeth at the corners of the mouth).

 

Billed  claim


The amount a dentist submits to a dental insurer for services provided to a covered person.

 

Biopsy


The removal of a small piece of tissue for microscopic examination.

 

Bite


The way in which the upper and lower teeth meet when closing the mouth.

 

Bitewing


An x-ray that detects tooth decay; called a bitewing because patients bite down on the x-ray film.

 

Bleaching


A cosmetic dental procedure that whitens natural teeth through chemical or laser treatment.

 

Bonding


The covering of a tooth surface with a composite resin (tooth-colored material also used for fillings) to correct stained or damaged teeth.

 

Braces


The devices used by orthodontists to gradually reposition teeth (also known as     Orthodontics).

 

Bridge


The prosthetic (false) teeth or row of teeth that spans between two natural     teeth

 

Bruxism


Grinding or clenching of the teeth.

Calcium


The natural element needed for healthy teeth, bones and nerves.

 

Calculus


The hard residue that forms on  teeth due to plaque buildup, often stained yellow or brown; also known as   "tartar".

 

Canker Sore


A mouth sore, whitish in color, which often appears with a red halo.

 

Cantilever Bridge


A fixed bridge that attaches to adjacent teeth on one end.

 

Cap


A common term for dental crown; see crown.

 

Caries


Commonly used term for tooth decay.

 

Cavities


Decay in tooth caused by caries; also referred to as a “carious lesion.”

 

Claim


A statement sent to an insurance  carrier that lists the treatment performed, the date of that treatment and a   list of associated costs; serves as the basis for payment of benefits.

 

Claim Review


Review of a claim by the insurance   company before a reimbursement payment is made.

 

Clasp


A device that holds a removable partial   denture to stationary teeth.

 

Cleaning


The removal of plaque and tartar  from teeth, generally above the gum line.

 

Coinsurance


The part of the dentist’s fee that  the patient is required to pay to the dentist after the patient’s insurance carrier has paid its portion (after any deductibles).

 

Composite Filling


A tooth-colored filling; also called a “resin,” "composite resin" or “white” filling.

 

Coordination of Benefits


A provision in an insurance contract that applies when a person is covered by more than one insurance plan. It requires all insurance plans to coordinate with each other when paying benefits in order to avoid repeat payments or overpayment.

 

Cosmetic Dentistry


Dental treatments performed to enhance appearance (e.g., bleaching, veneers).     

     

Covered   Person


An individual who is eligible for benefits and for/by whom premiums are paid under a dental policy.

 

Covered   Services


Services for which payment is provided under the terms of the dental plan; subject to deductibles, maximums   and waiting periods.

 

Cross Bite


A reverse biting relationship of upper and lower teeth (such as an underbite).

 

Crown


1) A porcelain or gold cover for a decayed, damaged or discolored tooth; 2) the portion of the tooth above the   gum line 

 

Curettage


Scraping or cleaning the walls of a cavity or periodontal pocket.

 

Cuspids


The large, pointed teeth at the corners of the mouth, located between the incisors and bicuspids; also known   as "canine" or "eye teeth."

 

Cusps


The raised round parts on the chewing surface of the teeth.

DDS


The abbreviation for Doctor of Dental Surgery.

 

DMD


The abbreviation for Doctor of Medical Dentistry.

 

Date of Service


The date that a service was provided.

 

Debridement


Removal of foreign matter or dead tissue.

 

Decay


The destruction of tooth structure caused by toxins produced by bacteria.

 

Deciduous Teeth


The first set of (usually) 20 teeth; also known as "baby teeth."

 

Deductible


The amount of dental expense the member must pay before the dental plan will consider payment of benefits.

 

Dental Floss


A waxed or unwaxed piece of nylon string that is inserted between the teeth and moved in an up-and-down fashion to remove plaque or other food deposits.

 

Dental Implant


A titanium rod surgically placed in the bone of the upper or lower jaw to provide support for a dental restoration or appliance (such as a crown).

 

Dental Prosthesis


An artificial device, such as a bridge, that replaces one or more missing teeth.

 

Dentin


The inner layer of tooth structure, located immediately under the surface enamel.

 

Dentition


The arrangement of natural or artificial teeth in the mouth.

 

Denture


A removable (partial or complete) set of artificial teeth.

     

Dependent


An individual who is eligible for benefits through a policy issued to a parent, spouse or, in some states, domestic partner.

 

Diastema


The space between teeth.

 

DIACAP


(Department of Defense Information   Assurance Certification and Accreditation Process). Ongoing requirements and   processes for protecting and securing information systems and physical   facilities, mandated by the Department of Defense for its contractors.

Effective   Date


The date that the policy goes into force and coverage begins.

 

Eligible Dependent


A dependent of a policyholder (spouse, child or other dependent) who meets all of the requirements specified in the dental policy to qualify for coverage, and for whom premiums are paid.

 

Eligible Procedure


Procedure that is eligible to be covered under the plan, subject to deductibles, maximums and waiting periods; also known as “covered procedure.”

 

Enamel


The hard tissue covering the portion of tooth above the gum line; the hardest substance in the body.

 

Endodontics


The branch of dentistry concerned   with the treatment of the dental pulp or nerve of the tooth; the most common   procedure is a root canal.

 

Endodontist


A dentist who specializes in   treatment of injuries, diseases and infections of the dental pulp or nerve of the tooth.

 

Enrollee


A person who receives benefits under a dental benefit contract; also known as "member",   "insured", "covered person" or "beneficiary."

 

EOB


(Explanation of Benefits) A   written statement to a member/enrollee, from the dental insurance company,   sent after a claim has been submitted and indicating the benefits/charges   covered or not covered by the dental benefit plan.

 

Exclusions


Services not covered under a dental policy.

 

Expiration Date


The date on which the dental   benefit policy expires or the date that an individual ceases to be eligible   for benefits; also known as “termination date.”

 

Explanation of Benefits


(EOB) A written statement to a   member/enrollee, from the dental insurance company, sent after a claim has   been submitted and indicating the benefits/charges covered or not covered by the dental benefit plan.

 

Extraction


The removal of a tooth.

        

Facing


The tooth-colored overlay on the visible portion of a crown.

 

Fee Schedule


A list of the charges agreed to by a dentist for specific dental services (Also see MAC and Maximum Allowable Charge).

 

Filling


The restoration of lost tooth structure with metal, porcelain or resin materials.

 

Fixed Appliance


A dental appliance that is cemented or bonded to the teeth.

 

Fixed Partial Denture


A device replacing one or more missing teeth that is cemented or attached to abutment teeth or implant replacements.

 

Flap Surgery


The lifting of gum tissue to expose and clean underlying tooth and bone structures.

 

Fluoride


A naturally occurring element that strengthens enamel, helping teeth resist decay.

 

Frenectomy


The removal or reshaping of thin muscle tissue that attaches the upper or lower lips to the gum, or the tongue to the floor of the mouth.

 

Full-Mouth X-Rays


A full set of x-rays, typically with 12-22 films, that show the crowns (the portion of tooth above the gum line) and roots of all of the teeth and the bone around them.

General Anesthesia


An agent that removes pain from   the body by producing a controlled state of unconsciousness or "deep sleep."

 

General Dentist


A primary care dentist.

 

Gingiva


The gums.

 

Gingivectomy


The surgical removal of gum tissue.

 

Gingivitis


The inflammation of gum tissue; early stage of gum disease.

 

Grace Period


A specified period of time allowed  after a premium payment is due during which payment will still be accepted   without loss of coverage.

 

Grievance   Procedure


A procedure that allows a member or a dentist to express complaints to the dental insurer and receive a response.

 

Gum Recession


The exposure of dental roots due   to shrinkage of the gums from abrasion, gum disease, unusual anatomy or surgery.

     

Halimeter


An instrument used in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic halitosis (bad breath).

 

Halitosis


The condition of bad breath.

 

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996


(HIPAA) A law that established national standards to protect the privacy of health insurance information.

 

Heat Sterilization


A procedure that kills all  microorganisms on dental instruments when placed into a chamber and the   temperature is raised.

 

HIPAA


(Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) A law that established national standards to   protect the privacy of health insurance information.

 

Hygienist


A type of dental professional qualified to clean and scale teeth. They also educate patients on proper   dental care.

Imaging


A photograph of teeth stored in a computer and then displayed on a television monitor. A dentist can show you   an image of your smile with new, repaired or whitened teeth.

 

Impacted Tooth


A tooth that fails to erupt properly and remains fully or partially embedded (covered by bone or gum tissue).  

 

Implant


A fixed replacement for a missing tooth 

 

Impression


A mold made of the teeth and soft tissues.

 

Incisors


The four upper or lower single-cusped (pointed) front teeth designed for cutting food.

 

In-force


Coverage that is active because premiums are being paid.

 

Inlay


A custom-made, cast-gold alloy that is cemented to a previously prepared cavity in the tooth.

 

In-network


Services provided by dentists contracted by a plan’s network.

 

In-network Dentist


A dental provider who has agreed   by contract to accept a plan’s maximum allowable charge schedule; also known as a “participating” or “network” dentist.

 

Insured


A person who is covered by an insurance plan.

 

Interproximal


The surfaces between adjoining teeth.

 

Interocclusal


The space between upper and lower teeth.

 

Intraoral camera


A small video camera used to view  and magnify oral conditions; images may be viewed on a monitor or printed.

 

IV Sedation


An anesthesia used for people who   want to be asleep during dental procedures; often described as a "light" anesthesia; see anesthesia, local anesthesia.

        

Jacket


A crown for a front tooth, usually made of porcelain.  

    

Laminate


A thin plastic or porcelain veneer produced in a dental laboratory and then bonded  to a tooth.

 

Lapse


Termination of a policy because premium was not paid.

 

Lasers


An instrument used in dentistry for surgery to cure (harden) restorative tooth materials and enhance tooth bleaching, as well as to remove tooth structure to eliminate disease.

 

Laughing Gas


An odorless inhalation agent that produces relative sedation, reduces anxiety and creates a state of relaxation; also known as "nitrous oxide."

 

Liability


An obligation for a specified amount or action.

 

Limitation


Restrictions stated in a dental policy, such as age, length of time covered and waiting periods, which affect an individual’s coverage.

 

Limiting Age of Coverage


The age at which a dependent covered by a dental plan is no longer eligible to receive benefits. Most dental plans offer an extension of benefits beyond  the limiting age of coverage to students and dependents with certain disabilities.

 

Local Anesthesia


An agent that relieves the sensation of pain in a localized area; see anesthesia, IV sedation.

MAC


(Maximum Allowable Charge) The maximum dollar amount that a dentist agrees to charge     covered individuals for services. Payment to the dentist may be from the plan, member or both.

 

Malocclusion


A misalignment of the upper and lower teeth; also known as "bad bite."

 

Mandible


The lower jaw.

 

Margin


The point of contact between a restoration and the tooth structure.

 

Maryland Bridge


A bridge that is bonded to the back of the adjacent teeth; requires minimum tooth reduction.

 

Maxilla


The upper jaw.

 

Maximum  Allowable Charge


(MAC) The maximum dollar amount that a dentist agrees to charge covered  individuals for services. Payment to the dentist may be from the plan, member or both.

 

Maximum Allowable Charge Schedule


A list of maximum allowable charges that network dentists contractually agree to accept as payment in full for covered services.

 

Maximum  Allowance


The     maximum dollar amount that a dentist agrees to charge covered individuals     for services. Payment to the dentist may be from the plan, member or both.

 

Maximum Benefit


The maximum dollar amount that a dental plan will pay toward the cost of dental care incurred by an individual or family within a specific period, usually a calendar year or lifetime.

 

Medicated  Filling


A temporary filling that incorporates a soothing medication to calm an inflamed tooth nerve.

 

Member


A person enrolled in a dental benefit program; also known as "enrollee","insured", "covered person" or "beneficiary."

 

Molars


The back teeth that are designed for grinding food before swallowing.

 

Mouthguard


A  removable appliance used to protect teeth from injury during athletic activities.

    

    

Nerve (Root) Canal


The dental pulp; the internal chamber of a tooth.

 

Network


A grouping of dentists who have entered into contractual agreement with an insurer to provide dental care services for members.

 

Network Dentist


A dentist who has entered into a contractual agreement with an insurer to provide dental care services for members at agreed-upon charges.

 

Night Guard


A removable acrylic appliance used to minimize the effects of grinding the teeth (bruxism) or joint problems (TMD); usually worn at night.

 

Nitrous Oxide


An odorless inhalation agent that produces relative sedation, reduces anxiety and creates a state of relaxation; also known as "laughing gas."

 

Nonparticipating dentist


Any  dentist who does not have a contractual agreement with a dental plan provider to provide dental care to members of the dental plan; also known as “non-network” or “out-of-network” dentist.

    

    

Occlusion


The relationship between the upper and lower teeth when the jaw is closed and their surfaces come in contact.

 

Onlay


A gold or porcelain inlay extended to cover the cusps for protection of the tooth.

 

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon


A  specialist who deals with the diagnosis and surgical treatment of diseases, injuries and deformities of the mouth and supporting structures.

 

Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery


Surgical procedures on the mouth including extractions, removal of cysts or tumors, and repair of fractured jaws.

 

Oral Cavity


The mouth.

 

Oral Hygiene


The process of maintaining cleanliness of the teeth and related structures.

 

Oral Pathologist


A dentist specializing in the study of oral diseases.

 

Oral Pathology


The specialty of dentistry concerned with the recognition, diagnosis, investigation and management of diseases of the mouth, jaws and adjacent structures.

 

Oral Sedation


Any substance taken through the mouth (such as a pill or liquid) to reduce anxiety and relax the patient.

 

Oral Surgeon


A dentist who specializes in surgery of the mouth.

 

Oral Surgery


The specialty of dentistry concerned with the diagnosis and surgical treatment of diseases, injuries, deformities and defects of the mouth.

 

Orthodontics


A dental specialty that treats misalignment of teeth; an extended treatment that usually     consists of braces or a retainer.

 

Orthodontist


A dentist who specializes in orthodontics.

 

Out-of-network


Refers to dentists who are not contracted as part of a carrier’s network, or to procedures received from a nonparticipating dentist.

 

Out-of-network dentist


Any dentist who is not part of a dental plan’s dental provider network; also known as a “nonparticipating” or “non-network” dentist.

 

Out-of-Pocket Costs


The amount the member must pay out of his or her own pocket for dental services and materials, such as deductibles, coinsurance amounts, and amounts balance-billed by out-of-network dentists.

 

Overbite


A faulty alignment of the teeth in which the upper front teeth are positioned too     far over the lower teeth when the mouth is closed.

 

Over Denture


A denture that fits over residual roots or dental implants.

Paid Claim


Amount  paid to dentists or members for eligible services.

 

Palate


The general term that refers to the roof of the mouth.

 

Palliative Treatment


Treatment  that relieves pain but does not cure the condition causing the pain.

 

Panorex


A  single, full-mouth x-ray.

 

Partial Denture


A removable appliance (prosthesis) that replaces some of the teeth in either  the upper or lower jaw.

 

Participating  Dentist


A  contracted or in-network dentist.

 

Pathology


The study of disease

 

Pediatric Dentist


A dental specialist whose practice is limited to treatment of children from birth  through adolescence; formerly known as a pedodontist.

 

Pediatric Dentistry


A dental specialty focusing on treatment of children’s teeth from birth through adolescence.

 

Periapical  (PA)


The area surrounding the end of the tooth root.

 

Periodontal Chart


The record measuring the depth of gum pockets around the teeth.

 

Periodontal Disease


The general term for the inflammation or disease affecting the gums.

 

Periodontal Surgery


The  recontouring or esthetic management of diseased gum and supporting tissue.

 

Periodontics


The treatment of diseases of the gum or bone (supporting structure).

 

Periodontist


A dentist who specializes in the treatment of gum disease.

 

Permanent Teeth


The 32 adult teeth in a complete dentition 

 

Pit


A small defect in the tooth enamel.

 

Plaque


A sticky  substance, composed mostly of bacteria, which accumulates on teeth.

 

Policy


A statement of coverage required by state law that provides a description of the benefits included in the plan and explains the coverage provided under the plan.

 

Policyholder


The applicant for and owner of the insurance policy; also referred to as  “subscriber.”

 

Policy  Year


The period of time from the effective date of the policy to the expiration date  of the policy.

 

Policy-Year Maximum


The  maximum benefit amount payable for an individual or a family during a policy year.

 

Pontic


The term used for an artificial tooth on a fixed partial denture (bridge).

 

Porcelain Crown


An all-porcelain restoration covering the portion of a tooth above the gum line.

 

Porcelain  Fused to Metal (PRM) Crown


A restoration with metal coping (for strength) covered by porcelain (for appearance).

 

Porcelain  Inlay or Onlay


A tooth-colored restoration made of porcelain that is cemented or bonded in place.

 

Porcelain  Veneers


A thin layer of porcelain bonded to a natural tooth to replace lost tooth structure, close spaces, straighten teeth, or change color and/or shape.

 

Post


The thin metal rod inserted into the root of a tooth after root canal therapy, serving to strengthen and retain restorative material and/or a crown restoration.

 

PPO


(Preferred Provider Organization) A formal agreement between a purchaser of a dental benefit program and a defined group of dentists (network) for the delivery of dental services to a specific patient population, using discounted fees for cost savings.

 

Predetermination


A process through which a dentist submits a treatment plan to an insurer before beginning treatment to determine if the procedure(s) is/are covered and at  what benefit amount. The insurer then notifies the dentist whether or not  the treatment would be covered, and of the benefit payable and applicable coinsurances, deductibles and maximums.

 

Preferred  Provider Organization


(PPO) A  formal agreement between a purchaser of a dental benefit program and a  defined group of dentists (network) for the delivery of dental services to  a specific patient population, using discounted fees for cost savings.

 

Premium


The amount charged by a dental benefit company for coverage of a level of benefits for a specific time.

 

Preventive Services


The dental procedures concerned with the prevention of dental diseases by protective and educational measures; may include exams, cleanings, x-rays  and fluoride treatments.

 

Prophy


(Prophylaxis)  The professional cleaning and removal of plaque, stains, and calculus on the teeth.

 

Prophy  Jet


Air  polishing for stain removal.

 

Prophylaxis


The  professional cleaning and removal of plaque, stains, and calculus on the teeth.

 

Prosthesis


An artificial replacement for a missing tooth or teeth.

 

Prosthodontics


The restoration of natural teeth and replacement of missing or lost teeth; common procedures are crowns, bridges, dentures and dental implants.

 

Prosthodontist


A  dentist that specializes in the restoration of natural teeth and the replacement of missing teeth with artificial substitutes; expertise  includes, but is not limited to: crowns, bridges, dentures, dental  implants, TMD-jaw joint problems and oral cancer reconstruction.

 

Protected  Health Information (PHI)


Protected  Health Information has two components, Health Information and Individually  Identifiable Health Information: 1) Health Information is     information that relates to an individual’s past, present or future health; the provision of health care to an individual; or the past, present or  future payment for the provision of health care; 2) Individually  Identifiable Health Information is information, such as social  security number or name, that can be used to identify an individual.

 

Provider


The dentist or specialist.

 

Pulp


The  nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue inside a tooth. 

 

Pulp  Chamber


The  opening in the center of the crown of a tooth which contains the pulp (nerve tissue) and stretches to the tip of the root.

 

Pulpectomy


The  complete removal of the pulp (commonly done in children’s teeth).

 

Pulpotomy


Surgical  removal of a portion of the tooth pulp with the goal of maintaining the vitality of the remaining portion.

Quadrant


One-fourth of the mouth or half of the bottom or top section of the mouth.


Radiograph


An image produced on photographic film by radiation, such as x-rays passed through  an object; also known as "x-rays."

 

Rebase


The process of refitting a denture by replacing the base material.

 

Reimbursement


Payment made by the insurer to the dentist or the patient for expenses related to  dental services or materials.

 

Reimplantation


An insertion and temporary fixation of a partially or completely dislodged tooth or  teeth resulting from traumatic injury.

 

Reline


The process of resurfacing the tissue side of a denture with new base material.

 

Removable  Appliance


Devices, such as orthodontic devices, that a patient can remove.

 

Removable  Partial Denture


An  artificial device, replacing one or more missing teeth, which a patient can remove.

 

Renewal


Continued  coverage of a policy beyond its original term, with the acceptance of  premiums by the insurer for a new policy term.

 

Restoration


The  replacement of the damaged portion of a tooth.

 

Retained  Root


A  partial root structure remaining in the jaw after extraction or fracture of  a natural tooth.

 

Retainer


An  appliance for maintaining the positions of the teeth and jaws immediately after the completion of orthodontic treatment.

 

Root


The tooth structure that connects the tooth to the jaw.

 

Root  Canal


A  procedure used to save an abscessed tooth in which the pulp chamber is cleaned out, disinfected, and filled with a permanent filling.

 

Root  Planing


The deep  cleaning of the teeth to remove hardened plaque below the gum line; usually performed one quadrant at a time.

 

Root  Resection


The  removal of a portion of diseased root structure, retaining the remaining  natural tooth.

Saliva


The clear, natural lubricating fluid in the mouth.

 

Saliva Ejector


The suction tube placed in the mouth to remove saliva during dental procedures.

 

Salivary Glands


The mouth's natural receptors, located under the tongue and in cheeks, which produce saliva.

 

Scaling


Removal of plaque, calculus and stains from the teeth.

 

Schedule of Benefits


A  listing of the services for which payment will be made in part or full by a dental benefit plan.

 

Sealant


A plastic coating applied to grooves of the teeth to prevent decay; used  primarily in children.

 

Space  Maintainer


The dental device that holds the space lost through premature loss of baby teeth.

 

Splint


A device used to support, protect or immobilize teeth that have been loosened, replanted, fractured or traumatized.

 

Subscriber 


The applicant for and owner of the insurance policy; also referred to as     “policyholder.”

 

Supernumerary Tooth


An extra tooth.

    

    

Tartar


The calcified plaque that forms from mineral salts in the saliva and deposits on the teeth.

 

Termination Date


The date on which the dental benefit policy expires or the date that an individual ceases to be eligible for benefits; also known as “expiration date.”

 

Third-Party Provider


An insurance company that pays all or a part of the cost of covered dental treatment.

 

Time Limit


The period of time following treatment during which a claim must be filed.

 

Temporomandibular  Disorders (TMD)


The problems associated with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) which connects the lower jaw with the skull; typically associated with pops and pain in the joint.

 

Tooth  Whitening


A chemical or laser process to lighten the color of teeth.

    

    

Ultrasonic  Cleaning


A cleaning that uses high-frequency sound waves to gently remove deposits, such as tartar and stain, from the teeth.

 

Unerupted  Tooth


A tooth that has not pushed through the gum.

    

    

Veneers


The facing which is bonded directly to a tooth to improve its appearance,  producing a very natural-looking result.

    

    

Waiting  period


The period of time between enrollment in a dental plan and the date when a  covered person becomes eligible for benefits, or for a specific group or class of benefits.

 

Whitening


A process that lightens the color of teeth

 

Wisdom Teeth


The third set of molars, the last teeth to come in, usually erupt at age 18-25.

    

    

Xerostomia


Dry  mouth or decrease in the production of saliva.