What are the Different Types of Teeth?


Today, we want to talk a little bit about understanding how our teeth are named and where they are in our mouths. We’ll just begin with describing the basic teeth that we have in our mouth, beginning with the incisors. The incisors, or the four teeth in the front, are used for cutting. It’s commonly referred to as the biting edge of the teeth here. Your four front teeth, top and bottom, are your incisors.

Next to them are your cuspids, or canines. They are the top two teeth. They’re called your eye teeth. They look sharp. They’re used for tearing. They look similar to the canines on a canine dog. The sharp teeth that come down. These are- next to your incisors are your cuspids, or canines. For the top two ones, once again, they’re also known as your eye teeth. The next two teeth, both top and bottom, are called your premolars.

They are used to help move food back to the actual chewing surface, which is your molars. Your molars are the 12 teeth in the back. Three per quadrant, top and bottom. Beginning in the back, once again, molars for chewing, premolars next to them used to transfer food back, cuspids or canines for tearing, and then your incisors in the front. These are the basic names for the teeth and where they’re located.

But you can get even more specific than that by talking about the different surfaces of the teeth. The outer surface or the inner surface. Is it buccal, meaning the surface closest to the cheek? Is it labial, the surface closest to the lips? When we talk about the buccal surface we’re talking about the back teeth, obviously the molars and premolars. When we talk the labial we’re talking about the incisors, the part of the tooth closest to the lips.

Then, when we talk about the facial teeth we’re talking about the outer surfaces of all the labial and buccal teeth, because they help make up the shape of the face. Those outer surfaces of the teeth help give shape to our face. Someone who has teeth that maybe poke out the front, it affects the way their face looks. Basically, the buccal and the labial combined creates the facial teeth. The buccal refers to the surface of the tooth closest to the cheek.

The labial surface of the tooth is closest to the lips. Then, we have the lingual surface, which is the surface closest to the tongue. This would be on the inside of the teeth. We’ve got the distal teeth, which is the surface away from the midline, and the mesial teeth, which is the surface toward the midline. Then we have the occlusal teeth, which is the biting surface of the posterior teeth. This would be the portion that we masticate, or chew, with in the back.

Distal is the surface away from the midline. Mesial is the surface toward the midline. Occlusal is the biting surface of the posterior teeth. Once again, to name the teeth instead of just giving the basic, you can get very specific by combining the terms over here, so that we get the mesiobuccal, mesiolingual, distobuccal, and distolingual by combining the surface, surfaces if you will, related to the teeth. Anyway, that’s just been a basic overview of our teeth, how they’re named, where they’re located.



by Mometrix Test Preparation | Last Updated: September 14, 2020