Teeth are pesky things, there are a bunch of them and they all seem to have a bunch of different names. Technically speaking, a full set of adult teeth is 32. However many people end up getting their wisdom teeth taken out, bringing them down to only 28 teeth in total.
There are 4 “types” of teeth
- Incisors – 8 in total
- Cuspids aka Canines – 4 in total
- Bicuspids aka Premolars – 8 in total
- Molars – 12 in total (counting the wisdom teeth)
Of course, to say “the 2nd incisor on the top right” is just far too many words to say and write down, so different coding systems were developed to make things snappier. The most commonly used system in North America and the one that’s used by the World Health Organization is the FDI World Dental Federation notation.
The FDI system numbers the 4 quadrants of the mouth, starting at the top-right and going clockwise:
- 1 = top right
- 2 = top left
- 3 = bottom left
- 4 = bottom right
Each tooth is then numbered starting at the middle and working back:
- 1 = first incisor
- 2 = second incisor
- 3 = cuspid/canine
- 4 = first bicuspid/premolar
- 5 = second bicuspid/premolar
- 6 = first molar
- 7 = second molar
- 8 = third molar (wisdom tooth)
The full permanent dentition contains 32 teeth (including wisdom teeth). If you’ve had your wisdom teeth removed, you’d have 28 teeth left.
Oh goodness, I can’t count. Thanks for pointing that out, it’s been fixed now!