Basic Terminology

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Incisor: A tooth for cutting or gnawing, located in the front of the mouth. Humans have 8 total incisors.

Central Incisor: The four teeth with the most prominent positions in the dental arch, directly adjacent to the dental midline. There are two central incisors in each dental arch and one in each dental quadrant.

Lateral Incisor: The four teeth directly lateral to the central incisors. There are two lateral incisors in each dental arch and one in each dental quadrant.


Canine: Also known as a cuspid. A tooth with a single cusp or point, with an elongated and sharp appearance, located between the lateral incisors and the first premolar. Humans have a four total canines, with one in each dental quadrant.


Premolar: Also known as a bicuspid. A two-cusped tooth found between between the canine and molars. Humans have eight premolars, with two in each quadrant. The premolar adjacent to the canine is called the first premolar, while the premolar adjacent to the molar is called the second premolar.


Molar: The broad, multi-cusped teeth in the back of the mouth, primarily used for grinding food. Adults have a total of twelve molars: three in each quadrant. They are called the first, second, and third molar in order of how close they are to the midline. Ie: the first molar is closest to the midline.

Third Molar

Third molar: The last of the three molar teeth, also called the wisdom teeth.

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