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Health Insurance Glossary

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Abrasion: The loss of tooth structure caused by a hard toothbrush, poor brushing technique, or Bruxism (grinding or clenching the teeth).

Abscess: A localized infection in the bone or soft gum tissues, usually at the end of the root tip.

Abutment: The natural tooth that holds in place a fixed or removable bridge.

Additional Insured: Anyone covered under your health plan that is not named as “insured” in your documentation from the insurance company.

Air Abrasion: Tiny particles of aluminum oxide blasted in a stream of water at the tooth to remove the decayed debris and ruined enamel of cavities.

Allergy: Unfavorable systemic response to a foreign substance or drug.

Alveolar Bone: The jaw bone that anchors the roots of teeth.

Amalgam: The most common filling material used for fillings, also referred to as mercury or silver.

Analgesia: A state of pain relief; an agent to lessen pain.

Anesthesia: Relieves the sensation of pain. See General Anesthesia, IV Sedation and Local Anesthesia.

Anterior Teeth: The six upper or six lower front teeth.

Antibiotic: A drug that stops or slows the growth of bacteria.

Apex: The tip of the root of a tooth.

Apicoectomy: The surgical removal of the root tip to treat a dead tooth.

Arch: Describes the alignment of the upper or lower teeth.

Association: A group. Often, associations can offer individual health insurance plans specially designed for their members.

Attrition: Loss of structure due to natural wear.

Autoclave: A device that has a chamber where instruments are placed and steam under pressure is injected, in order to complete sterilization.



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