Health / Dentistry Glossary
Abscess: A localized inflammation due to a collection of pus in the bone or soft tissue, usually caused by an infection.
Abutment: That portion of an implant above the neck utilized to provide support for a fixed, semi- fixed or removable dental prosthesis.
Accreditation: Certification that an organization meets the reviewing organization's standards. Examples: accreditation of HMOs by the National Committee on Quality Assurance (NCQA) or accreditation of hos . . . View Full Definition
Active Full-Time Employee: An employee must work for the employer on a regular basis in the usual course of the employer's business to be considered an active, full-time employee and eligible for coverage. Usually, a . . . View Full Definition
Adjudication: The administrative procedure used to process a claim for service according to the covered benefit.
Administrative Services Only (ASO): An arrangement in which a licensed insurer provides administrative services to an employer's health benefits plan (such as processing claims), but doesn't insure the risk of paying benefits . . . View Full Definition
Allograft: Transplants from one individual to a genetically non-identical individual of the same species.
Alloplast: Graft of a relatively inert synthetic material. Generally metal, ceramic or polymeric material.
Allowable Charge: The maximum fee that a health plan will reimburse a provider for a given service.
Alloys: Strong and relatively ductile substances that provide electro-positive ions to a corrosive environment and can be polished to a high luster. Characterized by metallic atomic bonding. Most of . . . View Full Definition
Alternative Birthing Center: A facility offering a 'non-traditional' ('not like a hospital') setting for giving birth. While alternative birthing centers can range from free-standing centers to special areas within hosp . . . View Full Definition
Aluminum Oxide (Alpha Single Crystal): An inert highly biocompatible strong ceramic material from which endosseous implants are fabricated.
Aluminum Oxide (Poly Crystal): A fused AL203 biocompatible material.
Alveolar Mucosa: The mucous membrane covering the basal part of the alveolar process and continuing without demarcation into the vestibular fornix and the floor of the mouth. It is loosely attached to the pe . . . View Full Definition
Alveoloplasty: A surgical procedure used to recontour the supporting bone structures in preparation of a complete or partial denture.
Amalgam: A dental filling material, composed of mercury and other minerals, used to fill decayed teeth.
Ambulatory Care: A general term for care that doesn't involve admission to an inpatient hospital bed. Visits to a doctor's office are a type of ambulatory care. Ambulatory Surgery
American Dental Association (ADA): A professional association of dentists dedicated to serving the public and profession of dentistry.
American Medical Association (AMA): A professional association of physicians dedicated to promoting the art and science of medicine and the betterment of public health.
Ancillary Care: Diagnostic and/or supportive services such as radiology, physical therapy, pharmacy or laboratory work.
Anesthetic: A class of drugs that eliminates or reduces pain. See local anesthetic.
Anniversary Date: The day after a coverage period ends under a health benefits plan. Usually, the month and day that a health benefits plan first goes into effect becomes its anniversary date each year.
Annual Out-Of-Pocket Maximum: The most a plan member will pay per year for covered health expenses before the plan pays 100% of covered health expenses for the rest of that year.
Anterior: Refers to the teeth and tissues located towards the front of the mouth (upper or lower incisors and canines).
Any Occupation: Under this definition, an employee will be considered disabled only if s/he is unable to work in any occupation for which s/he is qualified by education, training, or experience. This is clo . . . View Full Definition