Teeth: Names, types, and functions

December 8, 2019by aestheticsmiles0

Teeth are made up of different layers — enamel, dentin, pulp, and cementum. Enamel, which is the hardest substance in the body, is on the outside of the tooth. The second layer is dentin, which is softer than enamel, and the deepest layer inside the tooth is pulp, which consists of nerves and blood vessels. Cementum is on the root of the tooth and is beneath the gums.

The number and types of teeth a person has changes as they age. Typically, people have two sets of teeth during their life — primary, or baby teeth, and permanent, or adult teeth. In this article, we look at the teeth that children and adults have, as well as their functions.

Humans have the following types of teeth:

Incisors

Incisors are the sharp teeth at the front of the mouth that bite into food and cut it into smaller pieces. They are flat with a thin edge. They are also called anterior teeth.

Both children and adults have eight incisors — four central incisors at the front of the mouth, two on each row, with one lateral incisor positioned on either side of them.

Canines

Canines are the sharp, pointed teeth that sit next to the incisors and look like fangs. Dentists also call them cuspids or eyeteeth. Canines are the longest of all the teeth, and people use them to tear food.

Both children and adults have four canines. Children usually get their first permanent canines between the ages of 9 and 12. The lower canines tend to come through slightly before those in the upper jaw.

Premolars

Premolars, or bicuspids, are bigger than the incisors and canines. They have many ridges and help chew and grind up food. Adults have eight premolars. The first and second premolars are the molars that sit next to the canines.

Young children do not have premolar teeth. These first appear as permanent teeth when children are 10–12 years old.

Molars

Molars are the biggest of all the teeth. They have a large, flat surface with ridges that allow them to chew food and grind it up. Adults have 12 permanent molars — six on the bottom and top jaw, and children have eight primary molars.

The last molars to erupt are wisdom teeth, or third molars, which usually come through between the ages of 17–21. These sit at the end of the row of teeth, in the far corners of the jaw. Some people do not have all four wisdom teeth, or the teeth may stay unerupted in the bone and never appear in the mouth.

Sometimes wisdom teeth can become impacted, which means they can become trapped under the gum and are unable to come through properly.

Wisdom teeth that only come through halfway or are in the wrong position can increase the risk for infection or damage in surrounding areas. It is essential to see a dentist if people have any issues with their wisdom teeth.

People may experience mild discomfort when their wisdom teeth start pushing through the gums, but anyone feeling a lot of pain or has swelling should see a dentist.

A dentist may need to remove wisdom teeth if a person has tooth decay, pain, or an infection. People do not need these teeth for chewing, and they are difficult to keep clean because of their position far back in the mouth.

Number of teeth

Children have 20 primary, or baby, teeth. Primary teeth first start to appear when babies are around 6 months old. Children usually get all their primary teeth by the age of 3.

These teeth gradually fall out, and 28 permanent teeth replace them. Sometimes, permanent teeth push the baby teeth out, but typically, permanent teeth come through the gums at the back of the mouth behind the last baby tooth in the jaw.

The first permanent teeth to erupt through the gums are four first, or ‘6-year’ molars, so-called because they usually come through when a child is about 6 years old.

The first baby teeth to fall out are the lower central incisors. The adult central incisors tend to erupt around the same time as the first permanent molars around age 6-7.

Usually, people have lost all of their baby teeth by around the age of 14.

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Ja'Rod Morris
Ja'Rod Morris
2022-06-18
As someone who has struggled with juvenile periodontitis since the age of 16, I've worked with dentists around the world, and it was refreshing to find a dentist that I was able to work with directly from beginning to end. Dr. Arora was highly professional, thoughtful, and empathetic throughout the process. I had already started the process and had implants in place, and she helped me with six abutments and a total of 26 crowns. I reached out a few weeks before my trip, and she responded immediately. She took the time to talk through my history, and I could speak with her directly, not one of her assistants. She was very transparent and empathetic to my situation. She addressed my concerns about fees and followed through by not making it about money right when I showed up at her office. She paid attention to every detail and was thorough and getting the job done, and I would recommend her to anyone looking to get some solid work done, whether it be implants or cosmetic work.
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Shaheena Attarwala
Shaheena Attarwala
2022-06-18
Visited for dental facial pain issue, this was a second opinion i needed but the doctor was giving ambiguous answers & was not open to explaining in detail what would be best treatment. Again the answers were confusing and doc was not sure if the treatment would work or not. After having consulted a few docs before i was certain that this condition is not a rare one and facial pain is very common today. Again i was to visit doctor urmi but another dentist in her place consulted me which was surprising as i had no prior knowledge of this. I would appreciate if the doctor showed more enpathy towards the patient.
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Ridham Desai
Ridham Desai
2022-05-29
Excellent treatment. Professional. Safe. Very good facilities.
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Daman Singh
Daman Singh
2022-05-23
Dr Ritika, you play an essential part in the up keep of the pearly whites; thereby completing and complimenting the smile. A big thank you full of satisfaction to you and your team.
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Sandeep Mehra
Sandeep Mehra
2022-05-20
Visited for dental implants Was looking for a good dental clinic in mumbai , found Dr Ritika online and was quite impressed with her credentials and the reviews on google I was struggling with a old broken bridge with missing teeth . On Consultation with Dr Ritika suggested me immediate dental implants. I had 3 teeth extracted and 3 dental implants place on the same day . The procedure was painless though there was some nagging discomfort for a few days later which is quite normal when you have so much dental work done in one sitting After 4 months the dental implants were restored with 4 ceramic crowns. I happy to be back to enjoying my food. Modern clinic , very professional , affordable and the overall experience at Aesthetic smiles dental clinic is good especially for nervous patients like me who tend to neglect dental treatment Highly recommended
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Mohsin Shaikh
Mohsin Shaikh
2022-05-17
Last year in the month of December I have visited her and she advised me to remove my tooth and then do an implant and I had the most traumatic dental extraction experience, still I kept myself calm thinking that she is well known and experienced doctor and it’s been 5 to 6 months she did not followed up and avoid to reply to my text about the implant, Today i have visited another dentist to my wildest dream, I came to know that she has destroyed my entire jaw bone in the extraction process and no implant is possible now. It’s all big name and low fame, terrible diagnosis and treatment. Please be careful.
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Kevin Lawler
Kevin Lawler
2022-05-01
Listens to client and works out an appropriate plan
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Sean Verma
Sean Verma
2022-04-22
*Very hygienic *Professional *Honest *She will tell you that you do not need unnecessary treatments *Very skilled *Efficient We will be back to treat with Dr. Arora
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Lisa Smith
Lisa Smith
2022-03-03
I am from the US and was living in Africa when I needed some implants done. My global travel service recommended Dr. Ritika and my experience with her was fantastic! After I moved back to the States, I returned to India specifically to have her do more dental work for me. if not for Covid, I would return to India to finish the implant work she started. Both my dentist and oral surgeon here have commented on the high quality of work I received from her. Her clinic is exceptionally clean and her staff are very nice. Dr. Ritika was also very attentive to my travel needs and even sent cars to pick me up for my appointments. Plus, It costs me less to take a 2-week vacation AND get multiple implants than to get just 1 implant on the US! I highly recommend her, and look forward to when I can go back to visit enchanting India.
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sanjana dsouza
sanjana dsouza
2021-10-02
Dr Rithika and Kanchan is really great and patient centric.one of the best doctor I have met.highly recommended
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