Key Terms Every Patient Should Know About Their Teeth

Posted on: 15 April 2015

When you are sitting in the dentist's chair, with your mouth wide open anticipating the next movement, you will likely hear a lot of words being thrown around when the professional is describing your teeth. You may not be a dental professional, but it is always nice to know what is being referred to with certain terms. As a patient, there are a handful of terms you should understand that are used by dentists to refer to certain teeth in your mouth.

Molars - These are larger, flat-topped teeth that are located near the back of the mouth on both the top and bottom. These teeth are primarily used for chewing and can be prone to decay because of their location in the gum line.

Wisdom Teeth - Wisdom teeth are also sometimes deemed third molars because they typically show up after around 18 years of age. They are located in the back of the mouth and are the last teeth to grow. Wisdom teeth are commonly removed because of their tendency to crowd the rest of the teeth and create problems.

Incisors - If the dentist is working on your incisors, they will be working on the front teeth in your mouth. These are most often the first teeth to show up when you are a baby and the first to be lost when permanent teeth start growing. They are also used for biting and tearing foods more than chewing and can be prone to chipping and stains because of their location.

Canines - The canines are perhaps the most familiar teeth because most people associate the name with dogs, who also have large, pointed canine teeth. These are the pointed teeth that usually set slightly lower in comparison that the rest of the teeth. These teeth are also used for tearing and shredding foods as you eat.

Premolars - The premolars are situated in the mouth between the canines in the front and the molars in the back. It is quite common for people to see decay in these teeth because this is where the primary amount of chewing takes place and food gets trapped.

Even though you may not be able to speak up when your mouth is wide open at the dentist, you likely have questioned what the dentist was referring to when mentioning certain teeth. Understanding the language used can help you be better equipped to understand the makeup of your mouth. To learn more, contact a business like Cary Dental Associates.