Glossary of Medical Terms

September 11, 2009

  • Aetiology (Etiolgy): study of causation, or why things occur
  • Alar base: where the lip/cheek and side of the nose meet.
  • Alveolar bone grafting: the alveolus is the bone that supports the teeth in the jaws. It is often incomplete with cleft lip and palate and the defect is repaired with a bone graft, usually taken from the hip or shin.
  • Dental arch relationship: describes the way the upper teeth are positioned in relation to the lower teeth
  • GOSLON index: A method of assessment of dental arch relationships
  • Grommet: a tube which is placed in the ear drum to allow air into the middle ear in the treatment of secretory otitis media (glue ear)
  • Gingio-periosteoplasty: Moving potentially bone-forming tissue over the alveolar gap at the time of primary lip repair.
  • Palatal Fistula: a hole between the mouth and nose arising following closure of a cleft palate.
  • Hypernasality: excessive nasal tone caused by inadequate closure of the soft palate
  • Maxilliary retrusion: the top jaw front teeth lie behind the lower jaw teeth with the mouth closed.
  • Mucosa : The wet lining of the nose and mouth
  • Nasendoscopy: investigation with an endoscope passed through a nostril, used for assessing palate function
  • Naso-gastric intubation: the insertion of a plastic feeding tube (nasogastric tube or NG tube) through the nose down into the stomach.
  • Naso-labial appearance: profile and frontal appearance of the nose and upper lip
  • Neonatal appliance: oral plate sometimes used to help feeding and to guide the growth of the gum segments
  • Obturating appliance: palatal obturators are appliances used to block off a wide unrepairable cleft, a palatal fistula or in some treatments for poor palatal function.
  • Occlusion: How the teeth bite together
  • Orthodontics: the branch of dentistry concerned with the treatment of misaligned teeth and jaws.
  • Orthognathic surgery: surgical procedure to address facial disharmony caused by poor relationship of the upper jaw and/or lower jaw with the rest of the skull
  • Osteotomies: Surgical repositioning of the upper and /or lower jaw .There are thee types: Le Fort I, II and III osteotomies are for maxilliary advancement. Le Fort III is more often used to correct severe craniofacial problems, and saggital split for the lower jaw.
  • Pharyngoplasty: surgery to the back of the palate or pharynx (throat) to improve speech problems caused by poor palatal function
  • Philtrum: centre of upper lip
  • Prosthesis: an artificial replacement for one or more teeth, or associated structures
  • Prosthodontics: a dental speciality concerned with restoration and maintenance of oral function by the replacement of missing teeth
  • Submucous cleft palate: occurs when the mucosa of the palate is intact but the palatal muscles are not intact.
  • T tube: A long lasting type of grommet
  • Velophryngeal insufficiency (VPI): failure of the soft palate to close against the pharyngeal wall, causing hypernasality which may be corrected by velopharyngeal surgery
  • Videofluoroscopy: A video x-ray used to assess soft palate function during speech and swallowing

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