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Lactobacillus spp n: gram-positive bacteria that contribute to caries progression. The bacteria are rodshaped, are motile, and can exist under anaerobic
lamella n: a thin layer, membrane, plate, or scale, as of
bone, tissue, or cell walls.
lamina n: one of the thin layers or flat plates of a larger
composite structure, such as bone or tissue.
lamina dura n: the sheet of compact bone that forms
the tooth alveolar wall or tooth alveolus.
* crestal lamina dura: the layer of compact bone
existing at the alveolar crest.
lamina propria n: connective tissue that is highly vascularized and lies beneath the basement membrane
lining the epithelium; vascularized connective tissue
layer of mucous membranes.
laminin n: a principal high molecular weight glycoprotein component of the basement membrane that
aids in cellular adhesion.
lancinating pain n: a sharp, piercing, cutting, knife-like
pain that is usually intermittent.
land area n: the area of a dental cast that denotes the
end of the replicated anatomic surface of the mouth
and the beginning of a border of the cast.
lap v: to cover, fold over, or lie on top of as in the ridge
lap of an artificial tooth that covers the residual ridge.
laser n: the acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. A technique that converts
light from several frequencies into an intense, visible, small, nondivergent, monochromatic radiation
beam that is capable of creating immense localized
heat and power when concentrated and directed at
a short distance.
laser therapy n: the use of concentrated light beams to
specifically cut, burn, remove, or destroy soft tissue.
laser welding v: the use of intense beams of light amplified by stimulated emissions of radiation (laser)
that create sufficient heat to join metal components.
late closing click n: a sound made in the temporomandibular joint just before jaw closure as the disk slips
from anterior displacement to its original position
between the glenoid fossa and the head of the condyle.
late opening click n: a sound made in the temporomandibular joint just before maximum jaw opening
as the disk slips from anterior displacement to its
original position between the glenoid fossa and the
head of the condyle.
lateral adj: as related to the midline, any position that
is right or left of that position.
lateral condylar inclination n: the angle the moving
condyle makes within the horizontal plane (superior-inferior movement) and the median plane (anterior-posterior movement) plane as the jaw moves
laterally. The condylar deviation or the degree of deviation (slant) from its original horizontal and vertical
orientation when it is moved to one side.
lateral interocclusal record n: bite registrations of the
teeth in right and then left lateral working position,
used to estimate the opposite side lateral condylar
path and inclination.
lateral relation n: an obsolete term for the positional
relationship between the mandible and the maxillae
when the lower jaw is to the left or the right side of
the centric relation.
laterotrusion n: the movement of the mandibular condyle on the working side in the horizontal
plane. This description of mandibular condyle
movement is used in conjunction with other types
of condylar movement in other planes, such as
laterodetrusion, lateroprotrusion, lateroretrusion,
leaf gauge n: a device consisting of a set of blades or
leaves of graduated thicknesses that is placed in the
oral cavity to make accurate measurements between
2 points or to provide a metered separation.
lengthening of the clinical crown n: a surgical procedure performed to increase the extent of supragingival tooth structure by apically repositioning the
gingival tissue around the tooth; often includes removing a portion of the surrounding alveolar bone.
This procedure is typically performed for restorative
or esthetic purposes.
lesion n: any pathological change to a tissue or organ,
local in nature, caused by injury, surgical procedures,
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