Why is Tooth Numbering Important?

When you go to the dentist, you’ll most likely be asked to identify which teeth are being treated. It can be confusing if you’ve never had to do this before, but with this guide on why tooth numbers chart is important, you’ll know how to correctly identify your teeth and the ones that need treatment in no time at all!


– Incisors

Tooth numbers 1-4 (central incisors), tooth numbers 5-8 (lateral incisors), and tooth numbers 9-10 (canines) are usually referred to as incisors. The teeth are often called front teeth, because they’re found in front of other types of teeth. Most people have 8 of these, but some people only have 6 or 7. The average person has 8 central and 12 lateral teeth. However, it’s common for people to lose one or more teeth during their lifetime. For example, tooth number 11 is a wisdom tooth that’s commonly removed due to crowding and/or decay. Tooth number 16 is also known as an eye tooth chart with numbers, which sits behind your canine teeth at the back of your mouth. It’s also common for someone to lose an eye tooth during their lifetime due to decay or injury.


– Canines

These are front teeth, commonly referred to as fangs. There are 4 of them in total, one on each side of your mouth. Canines will become visible once your baby teeth have fallen out and their adult counterparts emerge. The largest canine tooth in a human’s mouth can grow up to 7 millimeters (0.28 inches) long, but normal adult size is around 4-5 millimeters (0.16-0.20 inches). This doesn’t mean that adults don’t lose their canines though – it only means that they fall out a little later than other teeth do, at age 50 or even older. That said, some people never develop an adult set of teeth, meaning their canines remain small throughout life. If you want to know why exactly these teeth are so important for our survival, you should read about its role in evolution .

2 – Premolars: Also known as bicuspids because they feature two cusps or points per tooth. In humans there are 8 premolars in total: four on top and four underneath. They will come out once your baby teeth have fallen out, but their permanent counterparts won’t emerge until you’re a teenager. They are smaller than molars and canines, measuring around 3-4 millimeters (0.12-0.16 inches) long each. They play an important role in chewing food, so if you lose one of them it can lead to some serious problems with eating .

3 – Molars: These teeth are used for grinding food down into smaller pieces that can be swallowed more easily. There are 12 of them, 6 on top and 6 underneath your mouth.


– Premolars

36, 32, 30, 28, 26, 24 and 22. Each tooth has four numbers representing its position from front to back and each side of your mouth. The lower left first molar would be 36-32-30-28. If a tooth is missing you will use an F or an A to represent that there is no tooth at that spot. For example 36F or 26A (the top right 2nd molar in our example). You can also indicate which tooth was extracted by using a 1 as a suffix on one of those letters. So if we wanted to say that we had lost our upper right 1st bicuspid we could write 36-32-30-1. This system allows for easy communication between dentists so they know exactly what tooth has been removed. It is important to note that when referencing teeth we do not use spaces between numbers but rather hyphens such as: 36-32-30 instead of thirty six thirty two thirty. This makes it easier for dentists to read and understand when communicating via chart notes during dental procedures.


– Molars

8, 9, 10 and 11 are called Wisdom Teeth. Molars 4-6 are your First Molars and 7-8 are your Second Molars. The first three (3) teeth on each side of your mouth in rows 1-4 make up what we call a quadrant. Each quadrant has two (2) teeth with one being slightly behind or in front of the other; for example: 6 & 7, 8 & 9 or 12 & 13. It’s important to know where these teeth are located as they play an important role in many dental procedures. For example, if you have a toothache or require dental implants, it’s important to know which teeth they are referring to so that your dentist can provide you with accurate information regarding treatment options. If you need further assistance understanding how teeth numbers work, please contact us at (888) 711-1336. Our team would be happy to help!

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