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Teeth Names
Diagram of Tooth Anatomy

Teeth Names

It is useful to know the names of the different types of teeth.
This page is about the different types of teeth in humans.

There are four types of teeth in a normal set of permanent (adult) human teeth.
The names of the four types of teeth are:




Cuspids (also known as canines)


Bicuspids (also known as premolars)



Obviously ...


False teeth don't count !


"Milk teeth" is the colloquial term used to refer to the teeth that children form first then lose as they grow older and their "milk teeth" are replaced by their permanent teeth. Alternative words used to refer to "milk teeth" include baby teeth, fall teeth, reborner teeth, temporary teeth, deciduous teeth and primary teeth.

It is easy to identify teeth (teeth names) by looking at an individual tooth, according to its position in the mouth, or by a description of the tooth or its actions / purpose.

1. Teeth Names from the shape of teeth

Dental X-Ray Panorma - showing teeth on upper-jaw and teeth in lower-jaw

Only the top part of teeth called the "crown" of a tooth - see tooth anatomy - is normally visible when the tooth is in its normal position in the mouth. However, as shown in the simple diagram of the shape of a tooth (above right), teeth are larger and often have a more complicated shape than can be seen just by looking into an open mouth.

To see the whole of a tooth or teeth one must either look at a tooth that is no-longer in its original position embedded into a jaw bone, or one could look at an X-ray image of teeth using radiography equipment to capture images of bones and teeth. The dental x-ray panorama image on the left shows both the upper- and lower-jaws of a young man.

Using this image it is possible to match the teeth in the x-ray with the teeth names labelled in the following diagram and the short descriptions of each of the four types of adult human teeth at the bottom of this page.

2. Teeth Names from the position of teeth in the mouth

The following diagram of the names of teeh (showing an anterior view of the mouth) is clickable:
Click the text labels on the diagram for information about the part of the oral cavity indicated by the label - on another page.

Upper Lip Incisors Upper Lip Canines Premolars Molars Upper Lip Canines Premolars Upper Lip Lower Lip Palatine Tonsil What is the uvula ? Tongue Molars Upper Lip Lower Lip Palatine Tonsil Tongue Upper Lip Lower Lip Tongue Molars Lower Lip Canines Incisors Premolars Molars Lower Lip Tongue Lower Lip Tongue Premolars Molars Lower Lip Tongue Canines Lower Lip Structures of the Mouth Lower Lip Lower Lip Structures of the Mouth

3. Teeth Names from descriptions of teeth

Type of Tooth

Notes / Description


Incisors are teeth that are located at the front and mid-line of the mouth.
They are relatively flat or "chisel-shaped" and suited for cutting into food.


Canine teeth are also known as cuspids.
They have a single pointed surface called a "cusp" which is adapted for tearing and shredding food.


Premolars are also known as bicuspids. They have two cusps with which to crush and grind food.
They are located between the cuspids and the molars. Premolar teeth have either one or two roots.


Molars are teeth that have three or four blunt cusps with which to crush and grind food.
They are located at the back of the mouth (see above). Molar teeth generally have two roots or three roots, two in the case of the molars in the lower-jaw and three in the case of the molars of the upper-jaw.

See also structures of the mouth, tooth anatomy and, as teeth are accessory digestive organs, the digestive system.

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