Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Abbreviations and Acronyms in Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics

You may hear some shorthand or slang terms around a dental office. Hopefully, you will not hear anything like I heard once like this conversation a staff member had with a patient.  "Your O-H is pretty good but we are sending you over to Ortho to get some Records and see if you need any e-x-tees.  I don't see you in TPL, so I'll check Dolphin to see if your Pan is in there."  What?

Abbreviations and acronyms are very common in today's society.  The military tends to bring it to an art form.  In the dental office, doctors and staff often forget that patients are not in the office five days a week and do not use the shorthand language understood by staff.

Here is a list of a few common abbreviations, acronyms and slang heard in some dental offices:

E-X-T: Short for dental extraction or removal of teeth
ORTHO: Orthodontics or braces
PAN: Short for a Panoramic Radiograph (x-ray)
I-R-M: Intermediate Restorative Material (a temporary or sedative filling)
PEDO: Short for Pediatric Dentistry
Computer system terms peculiar to each software such as TPL (the list of that day's patients)
FILTEC or DYRACT: Particular brands of composite (white filling) material.
O-H: Oral Hygiene (status of brushing and flossing)

This is not to mention the confusing array of dental nomenclature and terminology that is a normal part of dentistry like condensers, plastic instruments, ball burnishers, spreaders, burs and forceps.  There is also a whole collection of terms we use in Pediatric Dentistry to help children understand what is going on.  See my post on Pediatric Language on that subject.  Hopefully your experience in our office will be one of friendly communication that is actually understood.


Nyc dental clinic said...

WOW!! Thanks for sharing such a nice post i am getting lots of knowledge about the abbreviations of dentistry and orthodontics. . .

Dan@RyooDDS said...

I like this post---it literally is like decoding another language; the Dental language.

All on 4 dental implant said...

This is really very helpful. Patients often do not understand these terms and abbreviations. Thanks for sharing this post.

Lydia Estrada said...

Hello, I'm from Spain and I saw this blog. This year imma start 3rd grade and Im very excited. I found it very interesting. I know the abreviations in Spanish but now with your blog I know them in English too. Thank you so much. Lydia.

Las Vegas Dentistry said...

Thanks for the great post! We often forget to inform patients of what we are talking about when we use acronyms.

Dental Implants India said...

Thanks for sharing all the information. I am a regular visitor to this wonderful blog.