2016 Glossary - 18

decortication n: deliberate removal or repeated puncturing of cortical bone to initiate bleeding or a regional accelerated phenomenon for bone repair or
to enable incorporation of a bone graft into the host
bone. Method routinely used in osteomyelitis wherein after removal of the sequestrum, the surrounding
vital bone is included in the removal to initiate bleeding to promote osseous healing.
decreased occlusal vertical dimension n: the biometric decrease in the vertical relationship of the lower
third of the face caused by progressive loss of tooth
structure resulting in an increased interocclusal gap.
definitive prosthesis n: any dental or maxillofacial
prosthesis that will not require any further modification. Such prostheses are designed and intended for
long-term use.
deflective occlusal contact n: (1) the slide encountered from the initial point of tooth contact during
mandibular closure causing a deviation in the mandible; (2) An undesirable contact that displaces a
tooth, deters the mandible from its anticipated arc of
closure, and/or dislodges a removable denture from
its intended position.
dehisce v: to open at definite places; to split or peel
down along a natural line; to rupture or discharge
the contents by splitting open. dehiscence n: an act
of dehiscing, a rupture or splitting open, that is, separation of wound margins.
dental articulation n: the contact relationships of the
occlusal surfaces of the maxillary and mandibular
teeth when moved against each other (gliding occlusion).
dental cast n: a reproduction; a positive copy of segments or parts of the oral cavity.
dental casting investment n: combination of silica
phosphate and gypsum bonding materials used in
dentistry to enclose wax or plastic patterns during
the casting process in the laboratory fabrication of
dental crowns and bridges. For lower casting temperatures, a gypsum bonding material is used, and
for higher casting temperatures, phosphates or silica
materials are used.
18

dental dysfunction n: atypical functioning of masticatory physiology; a disorder or functional impairment
of the chewing or masticatory system
dental dysplasia n: see dysplasia.
dental element n: vernacular for a dental prosthesis
that achieves a portion of its retention from 1 or
more dental implants .
dental implant n: (1) a device placed beneath the soft
tissue layer upon (eposteal), within (endosteal), or
through (transosteal) the bone to retain or support
a dental prosthesis; (2) a device used to retain or support a dental abutment.
dental implant abutment n: the part of a dental
implant that functions to retain and/or support a
removable or fixed dental prosthesis. Frequently
endosteal dental implants have a temporary or preliminary abutment before a definitive dental abutment and prosthesis is placed. Preliminary abutments are called interim (dental implant) abutments.
The final abutment that supports the definitive (final)
prosthesis is called a definitive (final) dental implant
abutment. Dental implant abutments are often identified by their descriptive form (ie, cylindrical, barrel),
material (ie, titanium, ceramic, zirconia ceramic), or
special design factors (ie, external/internal hex lock,
Morse taper, or spline).
dental implant analog n: a duplication of the entire
dental implant used in the dental laboratory to assist
in making a temporary or definitive prosthesis; not
intended for human implantation.
dental implant attachment n: (1) the biochemical/
mechanical connection between the dental implant
and the hard and soft tissues to which it is attached;
(2) vernacular for the method that provides retention of the dental implant abutment to the dental
implant.
dental implant loading n: the process of placing often intentional axial or oblique force(s) upon a dental
implant. This process is usually associated with the
purposeful exposure of the dental implant at the
time of surgical placement or subsequent surgical
exposure. Forces may be generated from a range of
causes, including habitual, deliberate, and/or unin-



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