palate – hard and soft tissues that form the roof of the mouth, separating the oral and nasal cavities

palatal expander – orthodontic device used to widen the upper jaw

palliative treatment – treatment for the purpose of pain relief only

panoramic radiograph (x-ray) – radiograph that includes the full upper and lower teeth and jaws as a single flattened image, used for diagnostic purposes

partial denture – prosthetic device that is used to replace one or more missing teeth, but not the full upper or lower set, may be fixed or removable, also known as a bridge

pediatric dentist – dental specialist focusing on the dental treatment of infants, children, and adolescents

pediatric dentistry – dental specialty that focuses on preventive care and treatment for infants, children, and adolescents, includes care for special needs patients

periapical (PA) – area at the end of a tooth root

pericoronal – area around the crown of a tooth

peri-implantitis – inflammation of the tissue surrounding a dental implant

periodontal – refers to the tissues that surround and support the teeth

periodontal disease – includes gingivitis and periodontitis, inflammation of the periodontal tissues, may include the development of periodontal pockets, bone loss, and tooth loss, can be treated but not cured

periodontal surgery – surgery to treat diseased gum tissue in the mouth

periodontal pocket – a feature of periodontal disease, pocket-like deformity in the gums at the toothline

periodontics – dental specialty focusing on placement of dental implants and the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases that affect the tissues that surround and support the teeth

periodontist – dental specialist who focuses on placement of dental implants and the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases that affect the tissues that surround and support the teeth

periodontitis – inflammation of the periodontal tissues, may include the development of periodontal pockets, bone loss, and tooth loss, can be treated but not cured

permanent teeth – the second and final set of teeth, also known as adult teeth, usually 32 in total

plaque – soft, sticky substance that can accumulate on teeth, generally made up of food debris and bacteria

pontic – prosthetic tooth, part of a partial denture/bridge

post – thin rod that may be inserted into tooth root following root canal treatment, provides support for the tooth structure

preventive dentistry – aspect of dentistry that focuses on promotion of good oral hygiene habits to protect oral health and reduce or prevent development of oral health issues

prophylaxis – professional cleaning to remove plaque, calculus, surface stains from tooth structures, helps to prevent tooth decay and periodontal disease

prosthodontics – dental specialty focusing on the use of prosthetic tooth replacement and restoration of natural teeth

prosthodontist – dental specialist focusing on the use of prosthetic tooth replacement and restoration of natural teeth

pulp – connective tissue inside the tooth, contains nerves and blood vessels

pulp cap – medicated covering placed over small exposed area of pulp to aid in healing

pulpectomy – complete removal of tooth pulp

pulpitis – inflammation of pulp tissue, common cause of toothaches

pulpotomy – removal of diseased portion of pulp, leaving healthy pulp tissue intact

 

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