Dental Insurance Glossary




Paid By CareFirst
The amount CareFirst paid to the health care provider(s) or the subscriber for services covered by the Explanation of Benefits.
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.
Panoramic Radiograph
An extraoral radiograph on which the maxilla and mandible are depicted on a single film.
Parafunctional
Other than normal function or use.
Partial Denture
Usually refers to a prosthetic device that replaces missing teeth; (see fixed partial denture or removable partial denture).
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.
Patient’s Responsibility
The amount that the provider can collect from the patient for the services indicated. The Deductible and Co-pay/Co-insurance amounts and some Non-Allowed Amounts and Benefit Reduction Amounts are included. Your responsibility amount depends on the type of coverage you have, what other type of insurance coverage is involved, and if the provider participates in the CareFirst plan. If the payment was made to a non-participating provider, the subscriber or other designated payee, your responsibility will reflect the charge minus CareFirst payment and any other insurance payment, except Medicare non-assigned payments.
Pediatric Dentist
A dental specialist whose practice is limited to treatment of children from birth through adolescence; formerly known as a pedodontist.
Pedodontist
See Pediatric Dentist.
Periapical
The area surrounding the end of the tooth root.
Periapical Abscess
Acute or chronic inflammation and pus formation at the end of a tooth root in the alveolar bone, secondary to infection.
Periapical Cyst
Cyst at the apex of a tooth with a non-vital pulp.
Periapical Radiograph
A radiograph made by the intraoral placement of film for disclosing the apices of the teeth.
Pericoronal
Around the crown of a tooth.
Periodic Oral Evaluation
An evaluation performed on a patient of record to determine any changes in the patient’s dental and medical health status since a previous comprehensive or periodic evaluation. This may require interpretation of information acquired through additional diagnostic procedures. Report additional diagnostic procedures separately.
Periodontal
Pertaining to the supporting and surrounding tissues of the teeth.
Periodontal Abscess
Abscess of the gingiva or periodontal tissue to periodontal infection, as contrasted to periapical abscess or periradicular abscess.
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.
Periradicular
Surrounding a portion of the root of the tooth.
Periradicular Abscess
Acute or chronic inflammation around a tooth root in the alveolar bone, secondary to infection.
Permanent Dentition
Refers to the permanent teeth in the dental arch.
Plaque
A soft sticky substance that accumulates on teeth composed largely of bacteria and bacterial derivatives.
Pontic
The term used for an artificial tooth on a fixed partial denture (bridge).
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.
Premolar
A tooth with two cusps; also called Bicuspid.
Primary Dentition
The first set of teeth; see deciduous.
Prophylaxis
Scaling and polishing procedure performed to remove coronal plaque, calculus, and stains.
Prosthesis
Artificial replacement of any part of the body.
Prosthodontic Retainer
A part of a fixed partial denture that attaches a pontic to the abutment tooth, implant abutment, or implant.
Prosthodontist
A dental specialist whose practice is limited to the restoration of the natural teeth and/or the replacement of missing teeth with artificial substitutes.
Provider
A physician (M.D. – Medical Doctor or D.O. – Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine), health care professional or health care facility licensed, certified or accredited as required by state law.
Provisional
Formed or preformed for temporary purposes or used over a limited period; a temporary or interim solution; usually refers to a prosthesis or individual tooth restoration.
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.
Pulpitis
Inflammation of the dental pulp.
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.