What is the Structure of Adult Teeth?

Many at least once in their lives wondered how many teeth an adult has, and how many are present in the oral cavity in children of different ages. Some units (“eights”) may be absent for natural reasons, not indicating pathology. If others do not erupt, or there are too many of them, this indicates serious violations, which can still be corrected by experienced dentists with timely contact with the clinic.

The condition of the oral cavity affects the health of most organs and systems. That is why it is important to follow all preventive recommendations regarding hygiene, nutrition, getting rid of bad habits, and other points that imply comprehensive self-care.

number of teeth

Names of human teeth

Depending on how dental units are located and what elements they consist of, they have certain functional characteristics and are called differently. Consider all existing names:

  • Incisors. They are located in the front, there are four of them in each of the rows (upper and lower). Lateral and medial are designed for their owner to bite off food.
  • Fangs. They are needed to tear and hold food.
  • Premolars. They grow on the right and left of each jaw, also called fours and fives. They help in grinding small or soft pieces of food.
  • Molars. The three largest units are located on the extreme side of each row. They are necessary for grinding coarse food.

The incisors and canines are included in the so-called “smile zone”, or in the anterior segment. All others (premolars and molars) belong to the masticatory group.

Teeth are also divided into milk and permanent (molars). The first type is only in children aged from about 5-6 months to 3 years. That is, they are temporary and should normally fall out. The second group includes an occlusion that is fully formed at 6-13 years of age. It is final, new units will no longer grow. Both varieties are no different in structure and structure, only children’s incisors, canines, and premolars are somewhat smaller in size.

Numbering of teeth in a human mouth in dentistry

Dentists have formed a special system that can greatly simplify the diagnosis of various pathological processes, as well as specify the data present in the patient’s outpatient card. This information might not bother a simple layman at all, but sometimes people, being in a clinic, are horrified to find out that it turns out they have a thirty-eighth or forty-fourth dental unit. This is very surprising because in total a maximum of 32 teeth should grow.

The most popular technique among dental professionals is a two-digit system called “Viola”, which was introduced in 1971. The numbering does not start from 1, but from the value 11. The jaws are divided into two equal segments, after which four separate independent blocks are obtained. They are numbered from the upper right quarter (from 11 to 18), then from the top left (from 21 to 28), then the lower left side (from 31 to 38), and the bottom right (from 41 to 48).

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The count starts from the very first incisor to the third molar. The temporary bite is numbered in the same way but starts with the number 51.

The number of teeth a person has

This indicator depends on the age category and individual anatomical characteristics. For example, young children have only 20 milk units, which over time are replaced by 28 constants. The so-called “eights” usually appear in adolescence – upon reaching 20 years and older. They may not erupt at all, this is also considered a variant of the norm and does not raise questions from doctors.

In modern dentistry, there is a generally accepted single numbering of teeth in humans. They are classified into upper and lower, and also divided into left and right segments of both jaws, where there are incisors, canines, premolars, and molars. The count starts from the very first front unit and ends with “eights”.

In some cases, the serial number is supplemented with a numerical value expressing the growth zone. For example, the canine located at the top right is numbered as the thirteenth. A similar order in a schematic representation is called a dental formula.


This is one of the varieties of abnormal processes in the development of elements of the dental system, in which a person has a large number of temporary and root units. Teeth over the standard set in most cases grow and develop on the top row. They can be small in size and have an atypical shape that visually distinguishes them from the rest.

Even if there is only one such element in the mouth, this can bring significant discomfort. In addition, bite problems are possible, and the risk of carious cavities increases due to difficult hygiene care.

Crowding interferes with the normal chewing of food consumed. The chewing load is not distributed as nature intended, because of this, complete teeth cannot serve for a long time and begin to collapse early.

Patients with this problem often have poor diction. Some sounds are impossible to pronounce. That is why when this symptom appears, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible.

Scientists have not been able to identify the exact factors that contribute to the formation of the pathological process. However, there are still several theories that explain this. Normally, in children, there are 20 units in the mouth, and adults, from 28 to 32. If there are more teeth, this may indicate gene disorders, but this defect has not yet been identified.

Anthropologists note that people in ancient times had more incisors. This means that the superset is the so-called atavism, that is, the appearance in the descendants of signs characteristic of its distant relatives.
The development of the pathological process can also be influenced by the presence of negative factors affecting the expectant mother during pregnancy. That is, it is a hereditary mutation caused by intrauterine disorders of the embryo or fetus when more tooth germs form in the mouth.

wisdom teeth

There are several types of polyodontia in dentistry, such as:

  • Atypical. The teeth grow outside the rows. For example, in the sky.
  • Typical. It is small in size and develops in the region of the arc and fits freely there.
  • False. The milk bite does not change to permanent, that is, it does not fall out, but the root units are already
  • erupting. They can be localized in different places.
  • True. The rudiments beyond the set are formed and located in different zones.


This is a problem when the required elements are missing in the numbering of the teeth of the upper and lower jaws in the mouth. The pathological process can be congenital or develop over time. The disease is expressed by a violation of the continuity of the series. It is difficult for the patient to chew food, to talk. He feels unattractive due to an aesthetic defect. Diction is disturbed, and problems with the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract are observed.

The danger is both complete and partial absence of teeth. Because of this phenomenon, deformation of the facial skeleton is possible, and the risk of temporomandibular joint disease also increases.

The main provoking factor is the death of tooth germs or their lack. This may be due to a genetic predisposition or pathogenic effects on the woman and fetus during the period of childbearing.

The complete absence of all units is diagnosed very rarely. Usually, such patients also have an underdeveloped scalp, skin, nail platinum, sweat and sebaceous glands, nerve cells, and eye lenses.

There are other possible reasons:

  • violations of metabolic processes during fetal development;
  • diseases in children at an early age;
  • hereditary factor;
  • disruptions in the functioning of the endocrine system;
  • therapy of concomitant pathologies, for example, cancerous tumors;
  • osteomyelitis and other problems of a purulent nature;
  • chemotherapy, radiation.

The secondary loss of units occurs with untreated caries, trauma, abscesses, pulpitis, and other serious issues, if a person did not turn to the dentist in time or the help was of poor quality.

Dimensions of human teeth

The incisors located on top are twice as wide as their antagonists. All other units have approximately the same parameters. They are calculated using special tables that present both standard values ?? and deviation options.

Professional dentists calculate proportions by dividing the length by the width. If the resulting number is 0.75 mm or slightly different, this indicates an ideal combination of values. To obtain more accurate results, other effective methods and formulas are also used.

With significant deviations from the norm, we can say that the jaws are formed and develop incorrectly, perhaps the tooth germs have grown together, or there is a hereditary factor.

There are several terms used to describe such violations. Macrodentia is too large elements in a row, and microdontia are abnormally small. This negatively affects the bite of a person and the functioning of both jaws. However, everything can be fixed by starting a quality treatment in a dental clinic.


They are a complex of hard and soft tissues. Some of them remain visible because they protrude above the gums. Others are located deep and well protected from external influences. Let’s dwell on this issue in more detail.

Structure of Adult Teeth


Each healthy element in the upper or lower row consists of such structural parts as the root, neck, and coronal parts. As a rule, when it comes to dentistry, people represent exactly the last component, visible to the patient himself and those around him with the naked eye. It rises above the gum tissues and protects the deeper sensitive layers. Enamel is on the outside. It is the hardest cellular structure in the body.

The neck is the area under the gums where the crown passes into the root system. With some violations, it can be exposed and open, and become visible.

The channels are located in the alveolar socket. There can be several roots (1-5 – depending on the type of unit), it depends on individual characteristics.


No less interesting is the structure of the tooth of an adult (a photo of the composition is presented below) and a child. This includes items such as:

  • Enamel. The outer protective layer on the crown. It consists almost entirely of substances of inorganic origin.
  • Dentine. It consists of mineral components and organics (by 4/5 and 1/5, respectively). The color of the fabric affects the shade of all rows, as it is visible through the transparent enamel layer.
  • Cement. The bone structure covers the root system. Acts as a fastener for connecting the dental unit with the hole.
  • Pulp. Soft accumulation of cells, which is filled with nerve bundles and capillary vessels. If the patient feels pain during the development of caries, this symptom is explained precisely by the presence of nerves in the pulp layer.

Wisdom teeth

This name is given to the well-known “eights”, or third molars from the edge. They have many roots (3-5). However, in their structure, they do not have any differences from the rest of the elements of the series.

It is impossible to say with complete certainty about the exact number of such structures in adults because now there are more and more patients in whom they are completely absent. This is due to evolution. The need for them has disappeared, so the body has transformed. In other words, this is the so-called rudiment.

Dental health and human health

At first glance, it may seem that temporary and permanent occlusion has nothing to do with internal organs and systems. However, experts have long established that this is not the case. Oral problems have a direct or indirect effect on the functioning of the entire human body. Consider illustrative examples:

  • Gastrointestinal tract. With various dental diseases, the quality of chewing deteriorates, hence the grinding of food. This negatively affects the digestive processes.
  • Immunity. Pathologies weaken the body’s defenses. It cannot fully resist pathogenic microorganisms (bacterial agents, viruses, fungi, etc.). This is especially important during periods of seasonal and other epidemics.
  • The cardiovascular system. Inflammation of the mucous membranes in the mouth is often accompanied by the appearance of abscesses, leading to general intoxication. As a result, angina attacks occur, and heart failure develops.

missing adult teeth

The state of bite is affected by the quality of food intake and diet, as well as the presence of stressful situations, environmental conditions, and bad habits (smoking, alcohol abuse, etc.). In smokers, the dentition acquires an unaesthetic yellowish tint, the risk of early loss increases significantly, and bad breath appears, which cannot be eliminated even with the help of specialized hygiene products.

If there are a lot of sweets, cavities are likely to appear. At first, the enamel demineralizes, then hard tissues and deeper structural elements (dentin, pulp, etc.) are destroyed. Poor hygiene and untimely access to the dental clinic contribute to the occurrence of inflammatory processes and other complications that are dangerous to the life and health of the patient (pulpitis, cyst, periodontitis, etc.).

Let’s sum up

The numbering of teeth in dentistry in adults and children (photos are presented in the article) is of paramount importance for specialists in diagnosing various pathological processes and structuring information in outpatient cards. A healthy person should have a certain set of incisors, canines, premolars, and molars. If there are deviations from the norm, and the pathology is not in an advanced stage, it is corrected with the help of dental intervention.