No one associates going to a Houston dentist with fun, but there is one aspect that is interesting at least: the specialized dental terminology dentists and dental hygienists use. Dentists are medical doctors and like all medical terms, many used in dentistry have their basis in Latin. Science and medicine still rely on this ancient language today. You might be surprised how many of the words you hear at the dentist’s office are rooted in Latin.
Patients at teeth cleaning Clearlake who have regular care, or visit a cosmetic dentist, know they can always ask what a specialized dental term means. In Latin the word ‘teeth’ is ‘mordices.’ We do not usually think about many of the terms we have come to associate with the dentist. For instance, everybody knows tooth enamel is the glossy hard covering on the tooth. But, did you know the word ‘enamel,’ as in tooth enamel, is ‘electrum’ in Latin. This is true for many medical terms and dentistry is no exception.
Many of the other terms we use in everyday life are also originally from Latin. There are even a few terms that are written and spoken in English, but which are actually still fully Latin words. For instance, the dental term ‘cementum’ and the term ‘cusp’ are both the very same words in Latin. Cementum means “a rough stone” and cusp means “a point.” However, most Latin words have not survived so unmodified and are a bit different in the English language. Here are just a few of those terms that started in the Latin language, long ago:
- Pulp – From Latin word ‘pulpam.’ The soft interior of a tooth.
- Canal – From Latin word ‘canalis.’ A channel or tube.
- Ligament – From Latin word ‘ligamentum.’ An encompassing band.
- Socket – From Latin word ‘supputatis.’ Things that are meant to be fit together, such as a shoe and a sock.
Dentists of the 21st century base all their professional care on the precise language of their medical profession. Without such precise words, confusion might reign. Since people have always needed help with their dental problems from dentists they trust, it is no wonder the terms of the profession come from Latin, a language that was current, so long ago. This is one reason you can rely on modern dentistry, it is not a new fad nor at all experimental. The terms are as tried-and-true as the dental medicine.