Dental Jargon Explained

Amalgam = Metal Filling: a common filling material used to repair cavities. The material, sometimes called ‘silver fillings,’ contains mercury, silver, tin, copper and sometimes zinc.

Composite = White Filling: a tooth-coloured material made up of plastic and glass or ceramic, which is usually hardened with filtered light or with chemicals catalyst. These are used as an alternative to silver amalgam fillings and usually look more like your natural teeth.

Endodontics =Root Canal Filling: a procedure used to save a tooth with an abscess. What is called the pulp chamber (where the nerve lives) is disinfected, cleaned and sealed with a permanent filling.

Fibre Reinforcement = FRC: a white filling, bridge, crown or veneer which has been strengthened by incorporating special fibres. The fibres make the material more wear-resistant as well as binding the whole thing together. They are also used to create a framework upon which a new tooth can be sculpted.

Gingivitis or Periodontal Disease = inflamed, swollen and reddish gums that bleed easily when touched or brushed. It is the start of possible periodontal disease, when the infection spreads down the root of the tooth, and tooth loss. This is usually reversible with good oral hygiene.

Impacted tooth = a tooth that is partially or completely blocked from breaking through the gum as it grows. An impacted tooth may push other teeth together.

Oral and maxillofacial surgery = surgical procedures on the mouth including extractions, removal of cysts or tumours, and repair of fractured jaws.

Orthodontics = a dental field that uses devices such as braces and retainers to straighten misaligned or crooked teeth.

Plaque/Scale/Tartar = a build-up of food particles, saliva and bacteria that forms on the teeth. Plaque left alone eventually turns in to tartar and causes disease of the mouth.

Root canal therapy = a procedure used to save a tooth with an abscess. What is called the pulp chamber (where the nerve lives) is cleaned and sealed with a permanent filling.



Update 30 March 2020: COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Situation

The health, well being and safety of our patients, their families and our people is our priority and always will be.

Direct Access For Dental Care Has Been Suspended until  further notice across the country. Following guidance from our governing bodies and Public Health England, our practices are now closed until further notice.

Unfortunately we are no longer able to see patients face to face and to carry out ANY physical dental care. Nevertheless we are available to give telephone support and advice for on-going treatment or dental emergencies for example severe pain, swelling or trauma. If you have a dental emergency, the patients of our Blandford practice please contact us on 01258 450019, and patients of our Dorchester practice please contact the practice on 01305 265408. If you are a new patient to us, please call the practice of your choice and convenience. Leave a message and we will return your call as soon as possible. You will be triaged by a member of our team who will ask a series of questions to determine the nature of your emergency and the most appropriate way forward. Alternatively you could send us an email at If you wish to chat with us a member of our team will also be available to chat with you through facebook messenger chat.

Please visit the gov Coronavirus information website for more details

As you are aware, the COVID-19 situation changes daily, and new information is always being released. The Government guidance for dentistry is no different – and is constantly being updated to reflect the latest situation to ensure people are kept safe and well. We understand the importance of offering a healthcare service to our patients, so in line with Government advice, we  will keep you updated on the reopening of our practices.

Best wishes from the entire Staff team at National Dental.