Definition of dental in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈden(t)l/


1 [attributive] Relating to the teeth: dental health
More example sentences
  • And despite all the good news about dental health, tooth decay remains one of the most common diseases of childhood.
  • In spite of these improvements in dental health, teeth are still extracted because of decay.
  • Fluoride can considerably benefit dental health by strengthening the tooth enamel, making it more resistant to acid attacks that can cause tooth decay.
1.1 (abbreviation dent.) Relating to dentistry: dental councils
More example sentences
  • If your child wears braces, a retainer, or other orthodontics, ask the orthodontist about dental care.
  • With today's advances in modern dentistry, dental surgery has also advanced considerably to make the procedure nearly painless.
  • Patients are instructed that when they visit the dentist for cleanings or dental work during the next two years, they should take prophylactic antibiotics.
2 Phonetics (Of a consonant) pronounced with the tip of the tongue against the upper front teeth (as th) or the alveolar ridge (as n, d, t).
Example sentences
  • The sound that has yet to receive an official symbol is a ‘voiceless bilabial trill preceded by a dental stop, forming a single unit’.
  • The alliterating dental sounds clinch the sentence's dark sense.


A dental consonant.
Example sentences
  • Dentals are primarily distinguished from sounds in which contact is made with the tongue and the gum ridge, as in English, due to the acoustic similarity of the sounds and the fact that in the Roman alphabet they are generally written using the same symbols.
  • In a variety of languages, either for the sake of euphony, or from caprice or accident, sibilant letters have been interchanged with dentals.



Pronunciation: /ˈdentlˌīz/
( Phonetics )
Example sentences
  • Hebrew and Arabic use dentalized t, d, th, etc., while English makes the sounds farther back at the alveolar ridge.
  • Perform this exercise dentalizing and flipping the appropriate consonants using the tongue separate from the jaw.
  • If you want the linguistic explanation D and T are both dentalised consonants and sounding both of them is physically awkward.


Example sentences
  • Being possessed of European teeth myself, I feel dentally more comfortable on this side of the Atlantic.
  • This song for the dentally challenged was penned in 1944 by Don Gardener.
  • It was one of the foulest and most dentally challenging eating experiences I can remember.


Late 16th century: from late Latin dentalis, from Latin dens, dent- 'tooth'.

Words that rhyme with dental

gentle, mental, Oriental, parental, rental

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: den·tal

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.