Dental Anatomy/Dentition

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Alveolar Process

The bone that surrounds and supports the teeth

Alveolus

The bony socket in which the tooth is held

Anterior

Toward the front

Apical Foramen

The natural opening at the end of the root

Buccal/Facial

Side facing cheek

Cementum

Tissue that covers the anatomic root

Cusp

Pointy surfaces of teeth

Deciduous

Baby Teeth

Dentin

Tissue underlying enamel and cementum

Dentition

The kind, number, and arrangement of teeth

Distal

Farthest from the midline

Enamel

Outermost covering of the crown

Eruption

Appearing in the mouth

Exfoliation

The shedding process of primary teeth

Frenulum Linguae

a fold under the tounge which limits movement

Gingiva

Gums

Incisal

Biting surface of front teeth

Interproximal

Area between two teeth

Labial

Facing the lip

Lingual

The surface that touches the tongue

Mandible

Lower Jaw

Maxilla

Upper Jaw

Mesial

Towards the midline

Midline

Pertaining to the middle

Occlusal

Biting surface of posterior teeth

Odontoblast

Cell in dental pulp which forms dentin

Periodontal Ligament

Holds tooth in the socket

Posterior

Towards the back

Pulp

Tissue that makes up the canal chamber; consists of nerves, vessels, capillaries

Quadrant

Left or right half of an arch

Retromolar Area

Space behind the last molar on the mandible; where upper and lower jaws meet

Salivary Gland

Glands which produce and secrete saliva

Succedaneous

Any permanent tooth that replaces baby teeth

Tuberosity

The most distal apsect of the maxilla

Sulcus

The space between the tooth and the gum (where popcorn husks tend to get lodged)

Crown

Portion of tooth covered by enamel. "Clinical crown" is portion of tooth that is visible in the mouth.

Primary Dentition Phase

Deciduous teeth; 6 months - 6 years. Begins at eruption of first tooth (normally mandibular central incisor)

Mixed Dentition Phase

Primary and permanent teeth; 6-12 years. Begins at eruption of permanent mandibular molar

Permanent Dentition Phase

Permanent teeth, 12 years - adult. Begins at shedding of last primary maxillary second molar

Permanent Dentition

32 teeth total; 16 on mandibular and maxillary arches. Numbered 1-32

Primary Dentition

20 teeth total; 10 on mandibular and maxillary arches. Labeled A-T. Referred to as baby, milk, and deciduous teeth

Incisors

Anterior teeth; single rooted, relatively sharp, thin edged, designed to cut food; lingual surface is shaped like a shovel to aid in guiding the food into the mouth

Canines

Known as cuspids; located at the "corner" of the arch; designed for cutting and tearing foods; longest teeth in the arch; most important teeth in mouth and hardest to extract

Premolars

Known as "bicuspids"; 4 maxillary and 4 mandibular; cross between canine and molars; designed for grasping and tearing;

Molars

Much larger than premolars, usually having four or more cusps; short, blunter cusps; most broad surface; designed for grinding and chewing; withstand the heaviest forces required for chewing

Proximal Surface

Surface of a tooth next to an adjacent tooth; mesial and distal surfaces are proximal surfaces

Embrasure

Triangular space between two proximal surfaces

Functional Occlusion

A person's actual bite

Centric Occlusion

Ideal bite

Malocclusion

"bad" bite (overbite, underbite)

Tooth Numbering Systems

1. Palmer Notation System
2. Federation Dentaire Internationale Numbering System
3. Universal Numbering System**

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