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Dental Surgery Terms Beginning With 'P'

Palate
The hard and soft tissue forming the roof of the mouth.

Panoramic X-rays
X-ray films which show a complete two dimensional representation of all the teeth in the mouth, as well as the relationship of the teeth to the jaws and the jaws to the head.

Partial denture
A removable appliance that replaces some teeth in the upper or lower jaw.

Pedodontics or paediatric dentistry
The dental speciality focussed on the treatment of infants, children and young adults.

Pedodontist or paediatric dentist
A dentist who specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of the dental problems of children, providing oral health care as well as education on oral hygiene.

Periapical
The area at the end of the root of a tooth.

Periapical X-rays
X-ray films which show a complete side of views from the roots to the crowns of the teeth.

Periodontal ligament
The connective tissue surrounding the tooth, covering the cementum, which connects the tooth to the jawbone and holds it in place

Periodontics
A speciality of dentistry which focuses on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the tissues supporting teeth.

Periodontist
The dental specialist that has graduated from dental school and completed an additional three years training program in preventing, diagnosing and treating diseases of the soft tissues of the mouth and the supporting structures of teeth, both natural and implanted.

Periodontitis
A serious, advanced and irreversible stage of gum disease which includes bone loss and tooth loss.

Periodontium
The tissue that lines the socket into which the root of the tooth fits.

Permanent teeth
The teeth which replace the primary teeth. There usually are 32 adult teeth in a complete dentition.

Plaque
The soft and sticky substance that accumulates on the teeth from food debris, bacteria and saliva. It can be removed by brushing and flossing and maintaining a good oral hygiene. If it is not removed, it can form tartar and lead to gum disease and tooth decay.

Pontic
The false tooth in a bridge or denture that replaces the missing tooth.

Porcelain
A tooth coloured material which takes the appearance of enamel.

Post
A thin metal rod inserted into the root of a tooth after root canal treatment, providing retention for a capping that replaces lost tooth structure.

Pregnancy gingivitis
A condition caused by increased hormone levels that can cause swollen, red and tender gums, along with bleeding gums when touched or brushed.

Primary teeth
The first set of 20 temporary teeth forming the primary dentition, which is replaced by the permanent dentition gradually between 6 and 12 years of age.

Prosthetics
A fixed or removable appliance used to replace missing teeth.

Prosthodontist
Dental specialist who is skilled in the replacement of missing teeth and the restoration of natural teeth. A prosthodontist is trained to deal with complicated and simple restorations of the whole mouth and to treat facial deformities.

Pulp
The living part of the tooth, located inside the dentin and which contains the nerve tissue and blood vessels that supply nutrients to the tooth.