Basic Terminology

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Lobe: A primary anatomical division of the crown of a tooth, usually separated by developmental grooves. In this example, tooth #30 has 5 lobes.


Fossa: A depression or concavity on the occlusal surface of a tooth, usually rounded or wedge-shaped.


Sulcus: An elongated depression formed by the inclines of adjacent cusps or ridges on the occlusal surface of a tooth.


Groove: A linear depression on the occlusal surface of a tooth, usually formed by the fusing of two developmental lobes during tooth development.
Fissure: Found on the bottom of developmental grooves, due to an incomplete joining of the lobes. Pits and fissures are both deep grooves.

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