F

Facial – the term used in dentistry to describe the outer surfaces of teeth resting against the cheeks or lips.

Fissure – grooves in the chewing surfaces of the back teeth.

Fistula – an abnormal passage formed in the gum tissue, through which abscessed teeth drain.

Fluoride – a naturally occurring mineral, provided in topical form and applied as a gel or liquid to prevent tooth decay.

Fluorosis – the discoloration of the enamel due to excessive fluoride absorption (greater than 1 part per million) into the bloodstream, also known as enamel mottling.

Foramen – an opening in a bone.

Fossa – an irregular, rounded depression or concavity found on the surface of the tooth.  A lingual fossa is found on the lingual (tongue-side) surface of the incisors, while a central fossa is found on the occlusal (chewing) surface of the molars.

Free Gingiva – the marginal part of the gums that can be deflected from the tooth surface; it forms a collar around the tooth.

Frenectomy – the surgical removal of the frenulum or frenum, which is a thin band of tissue found in various parts of the body.

Frenum – a fold of mucous membrane connecting two parts or areas of the body.

Front Teeth – also known as anterior teeth.  The front teeth consist of eight incisors; four upper teeth and four lower teeth.  Incisors can be further classified as central incisors or lateral incisors.

Full Dentures – full dentures are for patients who have lost all their natural teeth in the upper and/or lower jaw. Full dentures may restore confidence in one’s appearance and may help the wearer to speak and eat normally. However, dentures do not prevent the lost of bone. Consult your dentist and ask for alternative options like dental implants.

Full Mouth X-Rays – X-rays showing all the teeth in the mouth.

Furcation – an area where the root of the tooth divides.