Longmeadow Family Dental Care Longmeadow Family Dental Care


Our glossary features any dental term you need to know, from A to Z. Still confused about something? Give us a call — we’re happy to help.

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  • Palate
    The hard and soft tissues forming the roof of the mouth that separates the oral and nasal cavities.
  • Palliative
    Action that relieves pain but is not curative.
  • Panoramic Radiograph
    An extraoral projection whereby the entire mandible, maxilla, teeth and other nearby structures are portrayed on a single image, as if the jaws were flattened out.
  • Papoose Board
    A behavior management technique utilizing immobilization to control the actions of a patient who is receiving dental treatment.
  • Parafunctional
    Other than normal function or use.
  • Partial Denture
    Usually refers to a prosthetic device that replaces missing teeth. See fixed partial denture or removable partial denture.
  • Participating Dentist
    See contract dentist.
  • Patient
    An individual who has established a professional relationship with a dentist for the delivery of dental health care. For matters relating to communication of information and consent this term includes the patient's parent, caretaker, guardian, or other individual as appropriate under state law(...)
  • Payer
    A self-insured employer, insurance company, governmental agency or other party responsible for payment of health care claims of covered persons.
  • Pediatric Dentist
    A dental specialist whose practice is limited to treatment of children from birth through adolescence, providing primary and comprehensive preventive and therapeutic oral health care; formerly known as a pedodontist.
  • Pediatric Dentistry
    Pediatric Dentistry is an age-defined specialty that provides both primary and comprehensive preventive and therapeutic oral health care for infants and children through adolescence, including those with special health care needs.
  • Peer Review
    An evaluation of the quality and conduct of an individual's work by the individual's professional equals (peers) in order to resolve questions or disputes regarding the quality, or conduct of the work. Peer review, when applied to dentistry, is a process, consistently structured and(...)
  • Peer Review Organization (PRO)
    An organization established by an amendment of the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982 (TEFRA), to provide for the review of medical services furnished primarily in a hospital setting and/or in conjunction with care provided under the Medicare and Medicaid programs. In addition to(...)
  • Percentile
    The number in a frequency distribution below which a certain percentage of fees will fall. For example, the 90th percentile is the number that divides the distribution of fees into the lower 90% and the upper 10%, or that fee level at which 90% of dentists charge that amount or less, and 10% more.
  • Periapical
    The area surrounding the end of the tooth root.
  • Periapical Radiograph
    A radiograph made by the intraoral placement of film, phosphorous plate, emulsion or digital sensor, for disclosing the apices of the teeth.
  • Pericoronal
    Around the crown of a tooth.
  • Periodontal
    Pertaining to the supporting and surrounding tissues of the teeth.
  • Periodontal Disease
    Inflammatory process of the gingival tissues and/or periodontal membrane of the teeth, resulting in an abnormally deep gingival sulcus, possibly producing periodontal pockets and loss of supporting alveolar bone.
  • Periodontal Pocket
    Pathologically deepened gingival sulcus; a feature of periodontal disease.