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  • Tony

Dental MMI Glossary

A glossary of words that you may be asked about directly or indirectly in your dental school MMI or interview. It's also useful to know about these words generally if you're thinking about applying to dental school- I've written about how these terms may be useful


  • A drill free technique that blasts the tooth with air and abrasive

  • Useful if a scenario question comes up where the patient is afraid of drills

Hard/soft palate:

  • Bony part of the roof of your mouth (hard)

  • Soft part of the roof of your mouth (soft)

  • Common dental knowledge


  • Pain relief

  • Useful for scenarios where patients are in pain

Apex, Enamel, Dentin, Pulp, Root:

  • In order:

Tip of the root

Hard, mineralised outer layer of tooth

Inner layer of tooth

Living part of the tooth

Contains the nerve

  • You may get a question on tooth anatomy

Bridge, Crown/Cap, Denture, Veneer

  • In order:

Fake tooth or teeth bonded to surrounding teeth

A restoration covering all or most of the tooth, ie on a tooth

Removable or fixed, artificial teeth- can be complete or partial

Thin layer of artificial tooth bound to the front side of a natural tooth

  • Common restorative dental knowledge


  • Undigested food, saliva and bacteria forming a sticky film

  • Can turn into tartar

  • Again, common dental knowledge


  • Hard substance on the tooth

  • Common dental knowledge


  • Filling material made containing mercury

  • You may be asked about fillings


  • The tooth structure that forms when your mouth is shut and you 'bite'

  • Useful, common dental term

Tooth decay, gingiva, periodontitis

  • These are a little more complicated, see my post here for more details

  • You may get a question on this

Canines, incisors, molars

  • Make your sure you know this!

Mandible, maxilla

  • Lower, supper jaw

  • Impressive technical terms

Oral and maxillofacial surgery

  • A dental speciality focusing on the head and neck

  • A potential career pathway


  • A dental speciality focusing on the gums

  • A potential career pathway


  • A dental speciality that revolves around child dentistry

  • A potential career pathway


  • A dental speciality focusing on cosmetics

  • A potential career pathway


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