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Dental Surgery Terms Beginning With 'C'

Calcium
An element needed for the development of healthy teeth, bones and nerves.

Calculus
Also known as tartar, calculus is a hard, calcium-like deposit that forms on teeth due to inadequate plaque control, often stained yellow or brown.

Canal
A small, narrow opening inside the root of a tooth.

Canker sore
A small shallow ulcer that forms inside the mouth, often white, yellow or light grey and sometimes presenting a small red border surrounding it. Canker sores commonly appear inside the cheeks, lips, under the tongue, the roof of the mouth and on the gums.

Cap
Common name for a dental crown.

Caries
Clinical name for cavities or tooth decay, which occur when plaque combines with the sugars and the starches of food. This combination produces acids that attack the enamel and which can be prevented by brushing and flossing daily.

Cast
A model of the teeth.

Cavity
A hole in the tooth caused by decay.

Cementum
The hard tissue that covers the roots of teeth.

Clasp
A device holding a removable partial denture or bridge to stationary teeth.

Cleaning
The removal of plaque and tartar from teeth, generally above the gum line.

Cleft lip
The split or separation of the two sides of the upper lip that appears as a narrow gap in its skin. The separation often extends beyond the base of the nose and includes the bones of the upper jaw or the upper gum.

Cleft palate
An opening in the roof of the mouth

Composite
A tooth coloured restorative material composed of plastic with small glass or ceramic particles. It is usually used for tooth-coloured fillings with a curing or hardening light.

Cosmetic dentistry
The branch of dentistry under which treatments are performed to improve the colour and shape of teeth.

Cross-bite
The abnormal bite relationship of upper and lower jaw where the lower teeth or tooth align toward the cheek or lip side more than the upper teeth or tooth.

Crown
(1) The top portion of a tooth above the gum line that is covered by enamel.
(2) A custom-made dental restoration covering that fits over a whole tooth after the dentist has prepared it. It is usually made of porcelain fused to metal to withstand biting pressure.

Cusp
The pointed tip on the biting surface of a tooth.

Cuspid
The third tooth from the centre to the back of the mouth. Front teeth with one rounded or pointed edge used for biting, also known as canines.