There are many people who suffer from dental anxiety. Dental anxiety brings on a feeling of undue stress during regular dental procedures. Some people who suffer from dental anxiety feel a sense of helplessness that results from not understanding the procedures at hand or what part of the mouth the dentist is looking at.
It’s not that your dentist is trying to confuse you or hide key information. It’s merely that providing high-quality care requires precise terminology that the average person might not hear every day.
Learning a few common dental terms can go a long way toward helping you feel empowered while also giving you the ability to ask informed questions.
Here are some of the more common terms that are used referring to locations in the mouth or on teeth:
- Posterior and anterior refer to the back and front of the mouth.
- Mesial and distal refer to the sides of the teeth, where you would commonly floss.
- Buccal indicates the side of a tooth located toward the cheek while lingual indicates the surface toward the tongue.
- Occlusal refers to the bite surface of teeth used for grinding and chewing while incisal refers to the biting surface of your front teeth.
- Dentition is a term that refers to the bite relationship between your upper and lower teeth collectively.
- Maxillae indicates a location on the upper jaw while mandible refers to a location on the lower jaw.
If you have questions about a certain part of the mouth, please feel free to ask questions. Your comfort during checkups and procedures is important to us!