Phone: (503) 533-2330  |  Fax: (503) 533-2331  |  15160 NW Laidlaw Rd. Suite #202  |  Portland, OR 97229

Glossary of Terms

Click on the service or term in the list below to see a definition.

Arestin Treatments

Arestin is a minocycline hydrocloride antiobiotic treatment for the gums dispensed in the form of microspheres or tiny bead-like particles. This medication is put into infected gum pockets and is time released for 2 weeks killing bateria that causes periodontal disease.

Customized Take Home Whitening or Preformed Trays

You can whiten your teeth at home with trays that are made to fit your mouth or preformed trays that are made for everyone.

Dental Bridges

A pontic, which is a false tooth, is fused between 2 porcelain crowns to fill the area left by a missing tooth or missing teeth. This procedure is used to replace one or more missing teeth. Fixed bridges such as these cannot be taken out of your mouth since they are bonded or cemented in place.

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These are removeable prosthetic devices that are constructed to replace missing teeth and are supported by soft and hard tissues of the oral cavity when all the upper teeth and/or lower teeth are missing.

Emergency Same Day Appointments

We set aside time for our patients on a daily basis for dental emergencies. If our office is closed we will make sure that a doctor is on call for your convenience.


Simple or surgical removal of a tooth.

Gum Reshaping

Sometimes the gums need reshaping or recontouring for esthetic purposes. This can be done quite simply with topical anesthetic gel and the Waterlase MD laser.

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This condition is characterized by chronic bad breath caused by bacteria in your mouth breaking down food debris and food decay. This process creates byproducts called sulfur compounds that emit a bad smell and taste. This type of bacteria needs an oxygen free environment to thrive such as pockets around the teeth and fissures of the tongue. Sometimes halitosis may be caused by a systemic condition like diabetes or another health problem with the sinuses, pharynx, lungs or stomach. Other debris in your mouth, poor oral hygiene, tobacco use, alcohol intake, garlic, onions, spicy foods, hunger or dry mouth can also be contributing factors.

Laser Assisted Periodontal Therapy

The Waterlase MD is used to irrigate gum pockets, ridding it not only of tartar but also of bacteria.

Laser Cavity Detection

Some decay is hidden and sometimes when found it may need a larger filling. This can weaken tooth structure and possibly cause problems years later. The Diagnodent laser can be used to scan each tooth illuminating grooves where cavities the size of pinpricks may be forming. These hidden or smaller cavities can be detected and consequently stopped before they get larger with sealants or fillings or fluoride treatment.

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Mercury Fillings

We do not place mercury fillings in our office. These fillings are comprised of a mixture of mercury liquid, small pieces of silver, copper, tin and zinc. Because they are metal, they can expand and contract with temperature and small forces like biting. With exposure to hot and cold and eating, the teeth are being weakened. Over a period of time, the tooth is susceptible to fracturing or breaking. Gaps between the tooth and filling occur that can allow micro-leakage and cavities. Mercury is also a very toxic element and literature is not absolute about long term effects on overall health from mercury released from teeth.

Nitrous Oxide

We offer nitrous oxide or laughing gas for a more comfortable experience if needed.

One Visit Tooth Whitening

People with most types of staining or discoloration can achieve lighter teeth through our one hour whitening system. It is quite easy and enjoyable as you can watch a movie during your treatment.

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Oral Surgery

Surgery used to correct a wide spectrum of disease, injury and/or defects in the head, neck, face, jaws, hard and soft tissues or the oral and maxillofacial region.

Partial Dentures

These are removeable prosthetic devices that are constructed to replace one or more missing teeth and may be attached to natural teeth by metal or gum colored clasps. Flippers are temporary partials that are used for short term to replace one or more missing teeth while a more comprehensive treatment plan is in process or during the healing phase of various types of dental treatments for esthetic purposes. Flippers sometimes use a wire for retention.

Periodontal or Gum Therapy

Peridontal disease has many stages. Early stage is known as gingivitis and it is reversible. Gums may be red and swollen and bleed during oral hygiene. Periodontal disease progresses at the sulcus (pocket or space) between the teeth and gums and fills with bacteria, plaque and tartar. These irritants remain in the pocket space causing irreversible damage to gums and bones that support the roots of teeth.

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Porcelain Crowns

Dental crowns or "caps" are fabricated in a manner where their full thickness is porcelain (dental ceramic). These crowns can possess a translucency that makes them the most cosmetically pleasing of all dental crowns, which also includes gold and porcelain fused to gold.

Porcelain or Gold Onlays

Many old silver fillings that need replacement are due to marginal leakage or cavities. Onlays are bonded high strength ceramic or gold fillings that avoid the necessity of a full crown as weakened cusps are stabilized by the adhesive technique.

Root Canal Treatment

Also known as endodontic therapy, root canal treatment is probably the most maligned of all dental procedures, but the reputation of pain typically associated with having a root canal is not really deserved. A root canal is when the necrotic or diseased pulp tissues are cleaned out of the root or roots of a tooth. Once the tissues have been cleaned out, the root is then re-filled with a water-tight filling material (gutta-percha). A crown is needed after this treatment to protect the tooth from breakage.


A dental plastic resin can be placed over the top of teeth, into the grooves of the chewing surfaces as a means to prevent formation of tooth decay.

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Space Maintainers

Baby teeth are not just for chewing. Each one acts as a guide for the permanent tooth that replaces it. If a primary tooth is lost too early, the permanent tooth can drift or erupt in an incorrect position. Neighboring teeth also can move or tilt into the space so the permanent tooth can't erupt. If your child loses a primary tooth before the permanent tooth is ready to come in, he or she may need a space maintainer to keep the space open until the permanent tooth comes in.

Ultrasonic Dental Cleanings

The ultrasonic scaler is often indicated for the efficient removal of tartar and staining on a tooth or root surfaces. Hand scaling and polishing follows to allow for more thorough cleaning.


Also known as dental porcelain laminates, these wafer-thin shells of porcelain are bonded onto the front side of teeth. They are an excellent cosmetic solution for teeth that are stained, chipped, slightly misaligned or smaller.

White Fillings

Also called composite fillings, white fillings are made from tooth-colored materials that restore the natural appearance of decayed or previously restored teeth.

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