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Dental Insurance Glossary




Abscess
Acute or chronic, localized inflammation, with a collection of pus, associated with tissue destruction and, frequently, swelling, usually secondary to infection.
Abutment
A tooth or implant used to support a prosthesis.
Abutment Crown
Artificial crown serving for the retention or support of a dental prosthesis.
Accession
Addition of a test specimen, previously collected by a health care provider, to a laboratory specimen collection; recording of essential specimen identification data in a laboratory-maintained file in chronological order of laboratory specimen acquisition; assignment to the specimen of an identification code.
Acid Etching
Use of an acidic chemical substance to prepare the tooth enamel and/or dentin surface to provide retention for bonding.
Adhesive
Any substance that joins or creates close adherence of two or more surfaces.
Adjudication
The process used by health plans to determine the amount of payment for a claim.
Allogenic Graft
Having cell types that are antigenetically distinct from patient's cell type (usually freeze dried and/or irradiated).
Alloplastic
Refers to synthetic material often used for tissue augmentation.
Allowed Benefit
The maximum dollar amount that CareFirst approved for covered services, regardless of the provider’s actual charge. A provider who participates in the network cannot charge the member more than this amount for any covered services.
Alternate Procedure
A code in the Alternate Procedure field that indicates the procedure code to be used in the calculation of benefits in place of the procedure code actually submitted on the claim.
Alveolar
Referring to the bone to which a tooth is attached.
Alveoloplasty
Surgical procedure for recontouring alveolar structures, usually in preparation for a prosthesis.
Amalgam
An alloy used in direct dental restorations.
Analgesia
Loss of pain sensations without loss of consciousness.
Anatomical Crown
That portion of tooth normally covered by, and including, enamel.
Anterior
Refers to the teeth and tissues located toward the front of the mouth; maxillary and mandibular incisors and canines.
Anxiolysis
Reduction of anxiety utilizing a pharmacologic agent such as a Benzodiazepine or nitrous oxide.
Apex
The tip or end of the root end of the tooth.
Apicoectomy
Amputation of the apex of a tooth.
Arch, Dental
The curved composite structure of the natural dentition and the residual ridge, or the remains thereof, after the loss of some or all of the natural teeth.
Artificial Crown
Restoration covering or replacing the major part, or the whole of the clinical crown of a tooth.
Autogenous Graft
Taken from one part of a patient's body and transferred to another.
Avulsion
Separation of tooth from its socket due to trauma (evulsion).