abscess – severe and/or chronic localized inflammation in the gum tissue or at the tooth root that usually presents with infection, swelling, pain, and pus, and can cause damage to surrounding teeth and bone if left untreated abutment – a natural tooth or dental implant that is used to support a fixed or removable dental prosthesis acid etching – preparation of tooth enamel or dentin surface by the use of an acidic chemical to ensure successful bonding acrylic resin – compound that may be used to fabricate dental prosthetics, such as denture teeth and crowns ADA – American Dental Association, an organization of professional dentists within the United States, commonly known for providing public dental health education adhesion – part of the bonding process, characterized by chemical or physical agents connecting two or more surfaces with or without the use of adhesive adhesive – any substance that causes two or more surfaces to maintain connection with one another for an indefinite period of time air abrasion – the use of a tool that blasts air and abrasive material at a tooth to remove small amounts of tooth structure alloy/amalgam – compound made up of two or more elements and containing properties not found in the individual elements alveolar – part of the jaw bone where teeth are anchored anesthesia (local) – medication used to block pain in one area for treatment anesthesia (general) – medication used to induce partial or complete unconsciousness during treatment anterior – refers to teeth or tissues in the front part of the mouth ANUG – Acute Necrotizing Ulcerative Gingivitis, a condition characterized by small ulcers in the gums and aggravated by stress or smoking apex – tip of the tooth root apicoectomy – surgical amputation of a tooth root to treat a dead tooth appliance – oral device such as braces, mouth guards, or retainers arch – curved structure of upper or lower teeth archwire – metal wire used in braces to guide teeth into proper alignment arthrogram – diagnostic x-ray involving injection of contrast dye into joint to view the bone structures artificial crown – prosthetic tooth restoration that covers or replaces a tooth, may attach to partial tooth or dental implant attrition – natural wear causing loss of structure augmentation – procedure that treats a deficiency of soft tissue or bone structure avulsion/evulsion – removal of tooth from socket due to trauma