Enhancing Your Smile: Understanding Tulsa Dental Jargon

Dentist Jargon

What Did Dr. Hodges Just Say?

At Elan Tulsa Cosmetic Dentistry in Tulsa, we believe in making dentistry accessible and easy to understand for our valued patients. The world of dentistry often comes with its own set of terms and phrases that may sound like a foreign language. But fear not! In this blog post, we’re going to decode the language of dentistry, explaining complex terms in a way that’s easy to understand. So, the next time you’re in the dental chair at Tulsa dentist Dr. Hodges’s high-tech office, you’ll know exactly what’s being discussed.

Top 3 Dental Terms To Know

1. Tooth Enamel:

Let’s start with the basics. Tooth enamel is the hard, outer layer of your teeth. It’s your tooth’s protective armor, defending against decay and damage. Think of it as the fortress wall guarding your teeth from invaders like bacteria and acids.

2. Plaque and Tartar:

Plaque is a sticky film of bacteria that constantly forms on your teeth. If it’s not removed through regular brushing and flossing, it hardens into tartar (also called calculus). Tartar can only be removed by a dentist or dental hygienist and can lead to gum disease and cavities.

3. Gingivitis and Periodontitis:

Gingivitis is the early stage of gum disease. It’s characterized by red, swollen gums that may bleed when you brush or floss. If left untreated, gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, a more severe form of gum disease that can result in tooth loss.

More Key Dental Words Worth Exploring

Cavity (Dental Caries):

A cavity, also known as dental caries, is a hole or pit in your tooth caused by tooth decay. It forms when the acids produced by bacteria in plaque eat away at the enamel. Dentists at Elan Tulsa Cosmetic Dentistry fix cavities by removing the damaged part of the tooth and filling it.

Root Canal:

Contrary to its ominous reputation, a root canal is a dental procedure that’s done to save a severely infected or damaged tooth. It involves removing the infected pulp (the innermost part of the tooth) and sealing the tooth to prevent further infection.

Dental Crown:

A dental crown is a custom-made cap that covers a damaged or weakened tooth. It not only strengthens the tooth but also restores its appearance and function.


Bruxism is the medical term for teeth grinding or clenching, often done unconsciously. It can lead to tooth wear and jaw pain. Dr. Hodges may recommend a nightguard to protect your teeth if you’re a bruxer.

Orthodontics, Including Invisalign:

Orthodontics, including treatments like traditional braces Invisalign, is a branch of dentistry that focuses on straightening teeth and correcting bite issues. Invisalign is an excellent option for those seeking a discreet way to achieve a beautiful smile.

(2) Bonus Dentistry Topics To Learn About


When a tooth doesn’t fully emerge from the gum, it’s said to be impacted. Wisdom teeth are often impacted, and their removal is a common dental procedure performed by our skilled team.


Prophylaxis is a term for a dental cleaning or hygiene appointment. During prophylaxis our Tulsa dental hygienists remove plaque and tartar, polish your teeth, and check for oral health issues to ensure your smile stays healthy and vibrant.

Talk Confidently With Your Tulsa Dentist

Understanding the language of dentistry can make your visits to the dentist less intimidating and more informative. With these key terms in your dental vocabulary, you’ll be better equipped to discuss your oral health and treatment options with our experienced team at Elan Tulsa Cosmetic Dentistry. So, keep smiling and keep learning!

Best Cosmetic Dentist Tulsa Dr Meghan Hodges

élan Tulsa Cosmetic Dentistry

10031 S Yale Ave #104
Tulsa, OK 74137

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