P

ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ

Palate
The hard and soft tissues forming the roof of the mouth that separates the oral and nasal cavities.

Palliative
Action that relieves pain but is not curative.

Partial Denture
Usually refers to a prosthetic device that replaces missing teeth.

Parotid Glands 
Major salivary glands located in front of and below the ears.

Patient
An individual who has established a professional relationship with a dentist for the delivery of dental health care. For matters relating to communication of information and consent, this term includes the patient’s parent, caretaker, guardian, or other individual as appropriate under state law and the circumstances of the case.

Pediatric Dentist
A dental specialist whose practice is limited to treatment of children from birth through adolescence; formerly known as a pedodontist.

Pellicle
A thin nonbacterial film from saliva that covers the teeth.

Periapical X-Ray 
An x-ray that shows several entire teeth (crowns and roots) and includes a small amount of the periapical bone (surrounding the root tips).

Periodontal
Pertaining to the supporting and surrounding tissues of the teeth.

Periodontal Abscess 
An infection in the gum pocket that can destroy hard and soft tissues.

Periodontal Disease
Inflammatory process of the gingival tissues and/or periodontal membrane of the teeth, resulting in an abnormally deep gingival sulcus, possibly producing periodontal pockets and loss of supporting alveolar bone.

Periodontal Pocket
Pathologically deepened gingival sulcus; a feature of periodontal disease.

Periodontist
A dental specialist whose practice is limited to the treatment of diseases of the supporting and surrounding tissues of the teeth.

Periodontitis
Inflammation and loss of the connective tissue of the supporting or surrounding structure of teeth with loss of attachment.

Plaque
A soft sticky substance that accumulates on teeth composed largely of bacteria and bacterial derivatives.

Post
An elongated projection fitted and cemented within the prepared root canal, serving to strengthen and retain restorative material and/or a crown restoration.

Posterior
Refers to teeth and tissues towards the back of the mouth (distal to the canines): maxillary and mandibular premolars and molars.

Precision Attachment
Interlocking device, one component of which is fixed to an abutment or abutments and the other is integrated into a fixed or removable prosthesis in order to stabilize and/or retain it.

Premedication
The use of medications prior to dental procedures.

Prophylaxis
Scaling and polishing procedure performed to remove coronal plaque, calculus and stains.

Prosthesis
Artificial replacement of any part of the body.

Prosthodontis
A dental specialist whose practice is limited to the restoration of the natural teeth and/or the replacement of missing teeth with artificial substitutes.

Pulp
Connective tissue that contains blood vessels and nerve tissue which occupies the pulp cavity of a tooth.

Pulp Cavity
The space within a tooth which contains the pulp.

Pulpectomy
Complete removal of vital and non vital pulp tissue from the root canal space.

Pulpotomy
Surgical removal of a portion of the pulp with the aim of maintaining the vitality of the remaining portion by means of an adequate dressing; pulp amputation.