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Teeth Anatomy - want to learn more about it?

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Teeth Anatomy

Tooth anatomy - anterior view

The tooth anatomy is an interesting but challenging topic that demands the respect of any health science student or professional. The human teeth are quite special because they grow twice during an adult’s lifespan, are essential structures for the mechanical digestion of food, and support certain facial features.

Adult dentition consists of thirty-two teeth that share some common anatomical features and are classified into four groups:

  • Incisors
  • Canines
  • Premolars
  • Molars

In this page, we are going to study each one of the above types, learn how they are numbered, and understand the various anatomical parts of teeth.

Teeth Names & Numbers

There are thirty-two teeth in total in the oral cavity of an adult with a healthy dentition. One half, or sixteen, are embedded in the maxilla, while the lower half are situated within the mandible. The name of teeth on each arcade is self-explanatory - the top sixteen are named ‘maxillary teeth’, while the bottom half are named ‘mandibular teeth’. Each arcade is a mirror of its counterpart, containing corresponding teeth types.

The teeth on each row, or arcade, are divided into four groups; named as follows from the dental midline outwards:

  • Incisors (4) - central incisors, lateral incisors
  • Canines (2)
  • Premolars (4) - first premolars, followed by the second premolars
  • Molars (6) - first molars, then second molars, and finally the third (wisdom tooth) molars

Tackle the following quiz to learn the names of teeth.

Teeth names

For simplification purposes, dental professionals use numbering systems to identify the various teeth. The teeth are numbered 1 to 32; superior right to left, then inferior left to right.

Watch the following teeth video to find out more about the four groups and their numbering.

Recommended video: Teeth
Overview of all the maxillary and mandibular teeth.

Types of Teeth

In addition to the specific naming and numbering, dental anatomy is also unique in the possible types of teeth and their respective numbers. Children have twenty teeth, called deciduous or milk teeth, between six months and six years of age. This set is subsequently replaced by the permanent dentition of thirty-two teeth in adolescence and adulthood. Read the following articles to find out more details about the two types of human teeth.

Deciduous Teeth
Teeth

Teeth Anatomy

Tooth Structure

The four groups of teeth are not identical, but they all share a typical and general tooth anatomy, as follows:

  • Crown
  • Pulp chamber
  • Neck of tooth
  • Dental root
  • Root canal
Anatomy of the tooth
Anatomy of the tooth

Arteries & Veins

The blood supply of the teeth originates from the maxillary artery, which is the largest terminal branch of the external carotid artery. It is responsible for supplying the deep structures of the face.

Maxillary artery
External Carotid Artery and its Branches

The specific arteries carrying blood to the teeth travel through the root canal and have the following names:

  • Anterior superior alveolar arteries
  • Posterior superior alveolar arteries
  • Inferior alveolar arteries

The veins of the teeth follow the arteries, having similar names. They drain into the pterygoid plexus or the facial vein.

Nerves

The nerves supplying the teeth also accompany the arteries through the root canals and originate from the maxillary and mandibular branches of the trigeminal, or fifth, cranial nerve. Near the teeth, these major nerves give rise to the following branches:

  • Superior alveolar nerves
  • Inferior alveolar nerves
Maxillary nerve
Mandibular nerve

Video Tutorials For Tooth Anatomy

Teeth
Anatomy of the tooth

Tooth Anatomy Quizzes

Overview of the teeth
Teeth names
Anatomy of the tooth
This custom quiz tests your knowledge about teeth names, types, and anatomy,

Teeth Anatomy - want to learn more about it?

Our engaging videos, interactive quizzes, in-depth articles and HD atlas are here to get you top results faster.

Sign up for your free Kenhub account today and join over 931,206 successful anatomy students.

“I would honestly say that Kenhub cut my study time in half.” – Read more. Kim Bengochea Kim Bengochea, Regis University, Denver

Show references

Article, Review, Layout:

  • Adrian Rad
  • Dimitrios Mytilinaios
  • Nicola McLaren

Illustrators:

  • Tooth anatomy - anterior view - Paul Kim
© Unless stated otherwise, all content, including illustrations are exclusive property of Kenhub GmbH, and are protected by German and international copyright laws. All rights reserved.

Related diagrams and images

Overview of the teeth

Teeth names

Anatomy of the tooth

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