Dental Nomenclature

It is imperative that the same terms are consistently used for the various anatomical areas of the teeth, so that the dental health team can converse in a precise but simple manner. The following, then, is a portion of this common language of dentistry:

A. Anterior teeth - The teeth in either arch which are toward the front of the mouth. In both the deciduous and permanent dentitions, the anterior teeth include the incisors and canines, a total of three per quadrant and twelve in all.

B. Posterior teeth - The teeth in either arch which are toward the back of the mouth. In the deciduous dentition, this includes the two molars in each quadrant, or a total of eight teeth. In the permanent dentition, this includes both premolars and molars, or a total of twenty teeth.

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