Image:Dental industry jargon translated to everyday language!

Dental industry jargon translated to everyday language!

A lot of dental practitioners (including myself) use so much jargon that makes perfect sense to us but makes absolutely no sense to the patient. Just the other day I was inducting a new denture practitioner to a new centre and overheard at least seven or eight technical words that the patient politely nodded to but likely had no idea what the practitioner was talking about.

I then decided to compile a short list of definitions and layperson translations to hopefully help you in your quest to smile and eat to your best.

Immediate Denture: This is a denture that is made prior to having teeth extracted, just so you can have the teeth taken out and then have the denture put straight in. I should note that a reline (see definition below) should be done upon healing.

Denture Reline: This means that we make the fitting surface of the denture fit to your current gum shape. Over time gums change and the denture does not. A reline brings the gums and the denture together again.

Try-in: This is when a wax version of your new denture is “tried in” to see how it fits and looks prior to finishing it.

Partial Denture: This is a denture for a person who has some of their own natural teeth still in their mouths.

Chrome Denture: This is the base framework of a type of partial denture. Chrome is a type of metal used in the making of the framework.

Occlusion: How you bite.

Alginate: This is the gooey stuff used to take a mould of your mouth.

Primary impression: The first time a mould is taken using a mould tray that is stock standard (a tray that fits anyone).

Secondary impression: The second time a mould is taken of your mouth using a mould tray that is customised to your mouth.

MMR: Technically it stands for ‘maxilla mandibular relation’, which means, how your top jaw relates to your lower jaw.

Sore spot: This is a really sore spot on your gums created usually by a part of the denture rubbing too much in one spot

Well, there you have it! A little guide to navigate a good majority of the technical jargon we try to not use, but sometimes forget! Hope this helps and if you come across any other confusing or funny phrases that your dental professional may use please ask them to slow down and say “what are you going on about?!”

Happy smiling!