Endodontic Terminology - Veterinary Online Courses
Lesson 1, Topic 1
In Progress

Endodontic Terminology

Brett December 12, 2019

Endodontic Terminology

Endodontics is a specialty in dentistry and oral surgery that is concerned with the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases of the pulp-dentin complex and their impact on associated tissues.


Physiological formation of the apex of a vital tooth

Pulp (PU):

Soft tissue in the pulp cavity


Cells of mesenchymal origin that line the outer surface of the pulp and whose biological function is formation of dentin (dentinogenesis)


Unmineralized dentin matrix produced by odontoblasts


Mineralized tissue surrounding the pulp and containing dentinal tubules which radiate outward from the pulp to the periphery

Primary dentin:

Dentin produced until root formation is completed (e.g., dogs, cats) or the tooth comes into occlusion (e.g., horses)

Secondary dentin:

Dentin produced after root formation is completed

Tertiary dentin:

Dentin produced as a result of a local insult; can be reactionary (produced by existing odontoblasts) or reparative (produced by odontoblast-like cells that differentiated from pulpal stem cells as a result of an insult)

Sclerotic dentin:

Transparent dentin characterized by mineralization of the dentinal tubules as a result of an insult or normal aging

Periapical (PA):

Pertaining to tissues around the apex of a tooth, including the periodontal ligament and the alveolar bone

Fracture (FX):

Breaking of a bone or tooth

Vital tooth (T/V):

Tooth with vital pulp

Nonvital tooth (T/NV):

Tooth with nonvital pulp or from which the pulp has been removed

Pulp stones (PU/S):

Intrapulpal mineralized structures

Mineralization of the pulp (PU/M):

Pulpal mineralization resulting in regional narrowing or complete disappearance of the pulp cavity

Hypercementosis (HC):

Excessive deposition of cementum around the root or reserve crown of a tooth

Near pulp exposure (T/NE):

Thin layer of dentin separating the pulp from the outer tooth surface

Pulp exposure (T/PE):

Tooth with an opening through the wall of the pulp cavity uncovering the pulp

Tooth luxation (T/LUX):

Clinically or radiographically evident displacement of the tooth within its alveolus

Tooth avulsion (T/A):

Complete extrusive luxation with the tooth out of its alveolus

Periapical pathology (PA/P):

Pertaining to disease around the apex of a tooth

Periapical cyst (PA/C):

Odontogenic cyst formed around the apex of a tooth after stimulation and proliferation of epithelial rests in the periodontal ligament (also known as a radicular cyst)

Periapical granuloma (PA/G):

Chronic apical periodontitis with accumulation of mononuclear inflammatory cells and an encircling aggregation of fibroblasts and collagen that on diagnostic imaging appears as diffuse or circumscribed radiolucent lesion

Periapical abscess (PA/A):

Acute or chronic inflammation of the periapical tissues characterized by localized accumulation of suppuration

Osteosclerosis (OSS):

Excessive bone mineralization around the apex of a vital tooth caused by low-grade pulp irritation (asymptomatic; not requiring endodontic therapy)

Condensing osteitis (COO):

Excessive bone mineralization around the apex of a non-vital tooth caused by long-standing and low-toxic exudation from an infected pulp (requiring endodontic therapy)

Alveolar osteitis (AOS):

Inflammation of the alveolar bone considered to be a complication after tooth extraction

Osteomyelitis (OST):

Localized or wide-spread infection of the bone and bone marrow

Osteonecrosis (OSN):

Localized or wide-spread necrosis of the bone and bone marrow

Phoenix abscess:

Acute exacerbation of chronic apical periodontitis

Intraoral fistula (IOF):

Pathological communication between tooth, bone or soft tissue and the oral cavity; use IOF/R for its repair

Orofacial fistula (OFF):

Pathological communication between the oral cavity and face; use OFD/R for its repair

Indirect pulp capping (PCI):

Procedure involving the placement of a medicated material over an area of near pulp exposure

Direct pulp capping (PCD):

Procedure performed as part of vital pulp therapy and involving the placement of a medicated material over an area of pulp exposure

Vital pulp therapy (VPT):

Procedure performed on a vital tooth with pulp exposure, involving partial pulpectomy, direct pulp capping and access/fracture site restoration

Apexification (APN):

Procedure to promote apical closure of a nonvital tooth

Standard (orthograde) root canal therapy (RCT):

Procedure that involves accessing, debriding (including total pulpectomy), shaping, disinfecting, and obturating the root canal and restoring the access and/or fracture sites

Surgical (retrograde) root canal therapy (RCT/S):

Procedure that involves accessing the bone surface (through mucosa or skin), fenestration of the bone over the root apex, apicoectomy, and retrograde filling

Apicoectomy (AP/X):

Removal of the apex of a tooth; also called root end resection

Retrograde filling:

Restoration placed in the apical portion of the root canal after apicoectomy

Tooth repositioning (T/RP):

Repositioning of a displaced tooth

Interdental splinting (IDS):

Fixation using intraoral splints between teeth within a dental arch (for example for avulsed or luxated teeth that underwent reimplantation or repositioning); if performed for jaw fracture repair, use FX/R/IDS