The Types of Teeth


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Source: OpenStax Anatomy and Physiology

OpenStax Anatomy and Physiology

During the course of your lifetime, you have two sets of teeth (one set of teeth is a dentition). Your 20 deciduous teeth, or baby teeth, first begin to appear at about 6 months of age. Between approximately age 6 and 12, these teeth are replaced by 32 permanent teeth. Moving from the center of the mouth toward the side, these are as follows:

• The eight incisors, four top and four bottom, are the sharp front teeth you use for biting into food.

• The four cuspids (or canines) flank the incisors and have a pointed edge (cusp) to tear up food. These fang-like teeth are superb for piercing tough or fleshy foods.

• Posterior to the cuspids are the eight premolars (or bicuspids), which have an overall flatter shape with two rounded cusps useful for mashing foods.

• The most posterior and largest are the 12 molars, which have several pointed cusps used to crush food so it is ready for swallowing. The third members of each set of three molars, top and bottom, are commonly referred to as the wisdom teeth, because their eruption is commonly delayed until early adulthood. It is not uncommon for wisdom teeth to fail to erupt; that is, they remain impacted. In these cases, the teeth are typically removed by orthodontic surgery.

Source:

Betts, J. G., Young, K. A., Wise, J. A., Johnson, E., Poe, B., Kruse, D. H., … DeSaix, P. (n.d.). Anatomy and Physiology. Houston, Texas: OpenStax. Access for free at: https://openstax.org/details/books/anatomy-and-physiology


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