Facial: The mandibular canine is noticeably narrower mesidistally than the upper, but the root may be as long as that of the upper canine. In an individual person, the lower canine is often shorter than that of the upper canine. The mandibular canine is wider mesiodistally than either lower incisor. A distinctive feature is the nearly straight outline of the mesial aspect of the crown and root. When the tooth is unworn, the mesial cusp ridge appears as a sort of 'shoulder' on the tooth. The mesial cusp ridge is much shorter than the distal cusp ridge.
Lingual: The marginal ridges and cingulum are less prominent than those of the maxillary canine. The lingual surface is smooth and regular. The lingual ridge, if present, is usually rather subtle in its expression.
Proximal: The mesial and distal aspects present a triangular outline. The cingulum as noted is less well developed. When the crown and root are viewed from the proximal, this tooth uniquely presents a crescent-like profile similar to a cashew nut.
Incisal: The mesiodistal dimension is clearly less than the labiolingual dimension. The mesial and distal 'halves' of the tooth are more identical than the upper canine from this perspective. You will recall that the cusp tip of the maxillary canine is facial to a ling through the long axis. In the mandibular canine, the unworn incisal edge is on the line through the long axis of this tooth.
Variation: One variation of this tooth has captured the attention of board examiners. It is this: On occasion, the root is bifurcated near its tip. The double root may, or may not be accompanied by deep depressions in the root.
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