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Tooth Terminology


Palmer's Notation

Palmer's Notation is a widely used system to identify teeth. In Palmer's Notation, the oral cavity is divided into four quadrants - the upper left quadrant, the upper right quadrant, the lower left quadrant, and the lower right quadrant. Each individual tooth in each quadrant is given a name. The name of the quadrant and the name of the tooth form an individual identification; for example, the central incisor on the upper right side of the mouth is called an "upper right central."

Names of Teeth

Palmer's Notation is the system used to identify teeth.

Central -- The two upper and two lower teeth in the very center of the mouth.

Laterals -- The teeth adjacent to the centrals.

Cuspid -- The pointy teeth behind the laterals; these teeth have one cuspal, or point. Cuspids are also called canines.

First Bicuspid -- The teeth behind the cuspids. These teeth have two cuspals, or points.

Second Bicuspid -- The teeth behind the first bicuspids. These teeth have two cuspals, or points.

First Molar -- The teeth behind the second bicuspids. These teeth also have a level surface with four cuspals or points.

Second Molar -- The teeth behind the first molars. These teeth also have a flat service with four cuspals.

Third Molar -- The teeth behind the second molars. These teeth also have a level surface with four cuspals.

Other Names of Teeth

Incisor -- Another name for the centrals and laterals.

Canine -- Another name for the cuspids.

6-year molar -- Another name for the first molar.

12-year molar -- Another name for the second molar.

Wisdom Teeth -- Another name for the third molar.

Anterior Teeth -- The centrals, laterals and cuspids--the teeth in the front of the mouth.

Posterior Teeth -- The bicuspids and molars--the teeth in the back of the mouth.

Deciduous Teeth -- The primary, or "baby teeth"--the first set of teeth to erupt.

Secondary Teeth -- The permanent or second group of teeth to erupt.

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