Some terms and procedure you should know before visiting Dentist.A little about dental lingo

It doesn’t matter if your dental appointment is for a routine checkup, dental cleaning, or a more advanced procedure -there are a few things you should know before your visit to the dentist.

We are starting a series of some basic structure of teeth, terminologies, procedures, which you should know about oral health.

Adult Teeth

The teeth are the hardest substances in the human body. Teeth perform several functions. In addition to chewing food for digestion, they also assist with word pronunciation while providing shape to the face. You must have noticed that person with loose teeth or teeth gap, fail to pronounce some words correctly.

Adults have four types of teeth totaling 32 teeth (28 if the wisdom teeth are removed). Teeth are housed in gums. Gums also protect a tooth’s roots and any teeth that have yet to breakthrough. Upper and lower teeth are meant to fit in a certain way with their counterparts in the opposite jaw. If the fit is off, the bite is not right – even if the front teeth look straight. If the bad bite is not corrected, the stage is being set for potential problems. Premature wear of teeth and chipping of teeth is a very common problem. Jaw joint problems can develop. There is a higher risk of cavities. All of this can make it difficult to eat and talk.

When making your first impression, your smile makes a difference. One study shows that one-third of people notice your teeth before any other part of your face. Straight teeth are 45% more likely to get a job than those with crooked teeth. One study shows that 37% of people view individuals with crooked or stained teeth as less attractive than those with straighter, brighter smiles.

8 Front Teeth (incisors)

The incisor teeth are at the front of the mouth (four on top and four on the bottom of the jaw) and have a flat edge designed for shearing or cutting. Incisors are usually bigger in vegetarians, herbivores (plant-eaters)  because they are useful for biting off pieces of plant-based foods before chewing them with the back teeth. Meat Eaters (Carnivores)  have relatively small incisors because they use their more pointed other teeth (we will explain) to tear meat and shear bone.

4 canines

The canines, also called cuspid, dog teeth, are the longest teeth, located in the corners of the mouth. Two on top closing incisors  (outside of incisors)) on both sides, one on each side. and similarly in the bottom. Top two crannies in the upper jaw are called eye teeth because the pair in the upper jaw lie directly below the eyes. Eyeteeth are among the last of a baby’s first set of teeth to appear and implies that babyhood is in effect over. To give one’s eye-teeth means to offer something precious in order to gain something or be something. They are the most stable teeth and are used for ripping and tearing at foods easily. The human-canine tooth has an oversized root. This creates a bulge in the upper jaw that supports the corner of the lip

8 premolars

Premolar teeth are between the canine front teeth and the molars. These are transitional teeth; teeth that transition between the tearing function of the canines and the grinding function of the molars. They have a flat biting surface, used for chewing food. They are situated between the canine and the molar teeth. An adult human normally has eight, two in each jaw on each side.

12 molars (including 4 wisdom teeth)

The 12 molar teeth are large, flat at the back of the mouth. They have a larger surface area (largest teeth in the mouth) in order to chew and grind food into easily digestible bits. Molars are designed to sustain great amounts of force from chewing, grinding and clenching, and each molar is anchored to the jaw bone with two to four roots. Each side of the upper and lower jaw has three molars.

Wisdom teeth

They are the third molar on each side of the jaw, totaling four in number. Wisdom teeth are the last adult teeth to come into the mouth (erupt). They normally grow after the age of 17 and don’t have enough room to emerge or develop normally. Because they are so far back in the mouth, third molars often are not needed for chewing and are difficult to keep clean. Your dentist may recommend their removal to prevent potential complications when third molars have erupted (appeared) partially or are impacted (stuck below the surface of your gums ).

Everyone don’t have wisdom teeth. A molar is considered the most complicated type of tooth in humans. Extraction (removal) of this tooth is a complex process of dentistry and may be more painful than other teeth extractions.


Dentists split the interior of your mouth into four sections or quadrants. The upper portions of your mouth are the first two quadrants, while the lower portions are the third and fourth ones. So, the top right of your mouth’s interior is quadrant one (that’s your right side), while your top left is quadrant two.The bottom left is quadrant three, and the bottom right is quadrant four

1.SO/FDI system developed by the World Health Organizatio used in canada

 The first thing to realize is dentists use a two-digit numbering system. So the upper right teeth begin with the number “1” (i.e. 11), the upper left teeth begin with the number “2” (i.e. 21), the lower left teeth begin with the number “3” (i.e. 31), and the lower right teeth begin with the number “4” (i.e. 41). You may not have all of these teeth. For example, tooth 48 is a wisdom tooth, one that dentists oftentimes extract to improve the overall health of your mouth.

2.Palmer Notation Method used in the UK

The Palmer Notation System is a system that uses symbols, numbers, and letters to indicate teeth in the permanent and primary dentition. Orthodontists often use this system. The Palmer Notation System divides the mouth into four quadrants using a symbol to indicate each of the quadrants.

From American Tooth ( – Justi Educational Department, Dental Numbering Systems Perm

3.Universal Numbering System used in the USA

The numbering starts from the third molar tooth where the upper right third molar is assigned the number 1. This naming system follows a sequential pattern and continues until the left third molar tooth, which is numbered as 16. The similar pattern follows in the lower dentition wherein the lower left third molar in the third quadrant is assigned number 17, and a sequential pattern ends with number 32 with lower right molar tooth.

Thus our four types of teeth have the following names and functions-

Incisors: For Biting. Your incisors are your eight front teeth, four on the top and the other four on the bottom. ...

Canines: For Tearing. The sharp teeth located outside the incisors are called canines. ...

Premolars: For Chewing. ...

Molars: For Grinding.

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