The medical community often uses abbreviations for commonly used words, phrases, ailments, and body parts. The dental field is no exception. Taking abbreviated notes saves time and allows for better patient and doctor interactions. It also makes patient files smaller for easier transport from practice to practice.
However, the abbreviations used in files and notes need to be universal across the entire industry or else they will do more harm than good. Confusing one notated word for another could cause expensive and unhealthy mistakes for both the doctor and the patient. The last thing you'd want is for your new dentist to misinterpret notes taken by your old dentist!
As a patient or student, it helps to stay on top of these dental abbreviations yourself.