Dental terminology in Spanish, for dentists and patients

Dental terminology in Spanish

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Dental health is part of everybody’s lives, no matter where you live or travel. Basic dental terminology in Spanish may come in handy if you need to know how to name the parts of your mouth or how to describe a specific pain, or to understand your dentist’s requests.

In today’s post, we’ll cover all the Spanish dental vocab that you’d normally hear at a dentist’s office. We’ll start with the vocabulary for the different dental professionals you’ll meet there, along with some objects, places, and administrative words you’ll need there.

Then we’ll move on to different dental terminology in Spanish, broken down into several specific lists. We’ll start with terms we normally use to talk about the teeth and mouth, and then we’ll get a bit more technical with the names of dental problems, treatments, and procedures. Finally, we’ll wrap up today’s post with a list of the most common instructions you’re likely to hear from dentists in Spanish.

So without further ado, let’s dive into the world of Spanish for dentists and patients!

At the dentist’s office

In this section, we present vocabulary for the people, objects, and locations around the dentist’s office. Check out our general post for other common professions in Spanish.

English Spanish
Appointment La cita, El turno
Dentist El dentista, La dentista
Dental assistant El asistente del dentista
Dental case history La historia clínica dental
Dental chair El sillón dental
Dental office El consultorio dental
Desk El escritorio
Insurance El seguro
Dental hygienist El higienista, La higienista
Prescription La receta
Receptionist El recepcionista, La recepcionista
Waiting room La sala de espera

Teeth and Mouth

Here we list the dental terminology in Spanish relating to the mouth. We saw a few of the common ones in our post on body parts in Spanish, whereas here we go into more detail than you’re perhaps even familiar with in English!

English Spanish
Mouth La boca
Lips Los labios
Jawbone La mandívula
Tongue La lengua
Tooth El diente
Teeth Los dientes
Upper teeth Los dientes superiores
Lower teeth Los dientes inferiores
Baby teeth Los dientes de leche
Wisdom tooth La muela de juicio
Back tooth La muela
Premolar El premolar
Molar El molar
Incisors Los incisivos
Canine El canino
Dentine La dentina
Enamel El esmalte
Hard palate El paladar duro
Soft palate El paladar suave
Labial frenulum El frenillo labial
Tonsils Las amígdalas
Gums La encía
Root La raíz
Nerve El nervio
Pulp La pulpa dentaria
Pulp chamber La cámara pulpar
Saliva La saliva
Denture La dentadura postiza

Dental Problems

Whether you are a dentist or a patient, you can refer to the following list of dental terminology in Spanish to effectively communicate about dental issues.

For dentists, it will help you explain diagnoses to your patients. And for patients, this vocabulary will enable you to better understand your dentist’s explanations and discussions about your oral health.

You can use the verb sentirse to describe how you feel. For describing your ailments beyond the mouth, check out our post on explaining medical health in Spanish.

English Spanish
Abscess El absceso
Bad breath El mal aliento
Bruxism El bruxismo
Canker sore El afta
Cavities, Tooth decay La caries
Dental plaque La placa dental
Gingival swelling La inflamación de las encías
Gum disease, Gingivitis La gingivitis
Impacted teeth Los dientes detenidos
Loose tooth El diente flojo
Sensitive gums La encía sensible
Sensitive teeth Los dientes sensibles
Tartar El sarro
Toothache El dolor de muelas
Ulcer La úlcera
Yeast infection Candidiasis dental

Did you notice that the word for a tooth cavity in Spanish appears in the plural form, as la caries? That’s right! In Spanish, whether you are talking about a single cavity or multiple cavities, we still use the plural form caries! This is an interesting exception to our usual singular and plural rules in Spanish.

Dental Treatments and Procedures

After a diagnosis, dental treatment and procedures are the next steps. Check out the following list of Spanish dental terms related to some of the most common procedures and treatments.

English Spanish
Amalgam La amalgama
Anesthetic La anestesia
Antibiotic El antibiótico
Biopsy La biopsia
Braces, Brackets Los aparatos de ortodoncia
Crown La corona
Dental bridge El puente dental
Dental bonding La reconstrucción dental
Dental cleaning La limpieza dental
Dental inlays and onlays Las incrustaciones dentales
Dental procedure El tratamiento dental
Extraction La extracción
Fluoride treatment La aplicación de flúor
Gum grafting El injerto de encía
Implant El implante
Injection La inyección
Nerve treatment El tratamiento del nervio
Obturation La obturación
Orthodontics La ortodoncia
Painkiller El analgésico
Periodontal treatment El tratamiento periodontal
Prosthetic restoration La restauración protésica
Root canal treatment El tratamiento de conducto
Sealants Los sellantes
Teeth whitening El blanqueamiento dental
X-rays Los rayos X

Instructions for Patients

The following list of dental terminology in Spanish includes common phrases and verbs that dentists often use when communicating with their patients.

English Spanish
Close your mouth, please Cierre la boca, por favor
Bite Muerda
Breath quietly Respire tranquilo / tranquila
Don’t eat or drink for 30 minutes No coma ni beba por 30 minutos
Don’t forget to brush your teeth after every meal No olvide cepillarse los dientes después de cada comida
Keep calm Quédese tranquilo / tranquila
Open your mouth, please Abra la boca, por favor
Open your mouth widely Abra la boca bien amplio
Rinse your mouth Enjuáguese la boca
Spit on the cuspidor Escupa en la escupidera
Take a seat Siéntese
This is going to hurt a little Esto va a dolerle un poco
This is not going to hurt you at all Esto no va a dolerle nada

Note that all the command phrases we’ve included here are formal imperative orders. We cover the grammar rules for using the imperative mood with the formal pronoun usted in our post on formal commands in Spanish.


Whether you are in the dentistry business or you are a patient, we’re sure that today’s post on dental terminology in Spanish will come in handy.

From the dentist’s office to the names of different teeth in Spanish, from dental procedures to treatment names, to typical phrases a dentist may use in his everyday job, we’ve covered all the Spanish dental vocab you’re likely to need!


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