teeth are classified according to their shape and function as: incisors, canines, premolars and molars.
incisors (cuspids)- chisel shaped; adapted for cutting or nipping off food pieces
canines- fanglike; tear and pierce
premolars (bicuspids) and molars- broad crowns with round cusps suited for grinding and crushing.
molars are best grinders
dental formula- indicates the numbers and positions of diff types of teeth; written for one half of the mouth. consists of 2 incisors (I), one canine (C), and two molars (M):
2I,1C,2M (upper jaw) x 2 (20 teeth)
2I,IC,2M (lower jaw)
permanent: (2 incisors, 1 canine, 2 premolars, 3 molars)
2I,1C,2PM,3M (upper jaw) x2 (32 teeth)
2I,1C,2PM,3M (lower jaw)