2016 Glossary - 21
diagnostic denture n: a provisional removable dental
prosthesis constructed for the purposes of functional
and esthetic evaluation of the intended final therapy.
diagnostic occlusal prosthesis n: a removable dental
appliance, typically constructed from acrylic resin,
that provides an occlusal overlay on the teeth. It is
designed to evaluate a patient's response to proposed comprehensive restorative procedures.
diagnostic radiation n: the radiation a patient receives
when radiographs are used for the purpose of determining the nature of a disease.
diagnostic tooth preparation n: alterations performed on a dental cast before actual tooth preparation so the proposed tooth preparation can be evaluated and changed as needed before actually cutting
the intended tooth.
diagnostic waxing n: waxing of proposed restorative
forms on dental casts for the evaluation and planning of intended restorations.
diarthrodial joint n: a freely moving joint.
diarthrosis n: a specific articulation permitting more
or less free movement; a bone articulation that permits free movement in a joint. Structurally, it is a synovial joint.
diathermy n: treatment using heat generation through
tissue resistance to high-frequency electromagnetic
diatoric adj: a canal placed in denture teeth to provide
mechanical retention of the denture teeth in a denture base of a chemically different material.
differential diagnosis n: the distinguishing of a disease or pathological condition from others presenting similar signs.
dilacerations n: (1) a splitting apart; (2) abnormalities
in the angulation or shape of a formed tooth's root
or crown as the result of injury during the tooth's development stage.
dimensional stability n: the capacity of a material or
substance to maintain its shape and size when subjected to various environmental changes, including
moisture, temperature, and stress.
dimensions of color n: the 3-dimensional system
describing color developed by Munsell. The dimen-
sions are (1) hue (color family), (2) value (lightness/
darkness), and (3) chroma (strength).
direct bone impression n: a negative likeness of bone
produced through a flap reflection and direct impression. Usually, it is the initial part of the 2-stage
surgical impression technique for subperiosteal implant construction.
direct retainer n: the unit of a removable dental prosthesis that engages an abutment tooth to resist
movement of the prosthesis away from the basal
seats. The unit consists of an extracoronal clasp assembly or intracoronal retainer, for example, precision attachment.
direct retention n: displacement resistance of a partial
removable prosthesis away from the basal seats by
the use of extracoronal or intracoronal direct retainers.
disarticulation n: the separation of 2 articulated structures at their joint parts.
disc n: a thin, flat, circular object or plate. See also disc,
disc, articular n: fibrous connective tissue that separates temporomandibular joint cavity into 2 compartments. Also called the meniscus. Fibrous connective tissue between 2 bony structures to reduce
abrasion and friction located in a joint cavity, also
called the meniscus.
discectomy n: removal of the intra-articular disk. The
word is a compound Greek word, formed from the
words disk and extomy, which means excision/removal. As a compound word, it means removal of a
disk. It typically refers to removing the meniscus or
intra-articular cartilage in a joint.
disclosant n: a tablet or solution that when rinsed in
the oral cavity visibly stains dental plaque colonies.
It is often used as an adjunct in oral hygiene instructions because it helps the patient identify the areas
of plaque accumulation that can potentially induce
hard and soft tissue damage.
disinfectant n: typically a liquid agent that is applied
to surfaces of objects for the purpose of destroying
or inhibiting the disease-producing or other harmful