If you’ve ever visited the dentist, you probably have been confused by the way your teeth are numbered. What’s with the numbers in front of the tooth? Do all dentists number their patients’ teeth in the same order? What if I lose my teeth and go to another dentist? Is there any way to tell them apart? After years of staring at numbered teeth, we’re here to clear up this mystery once and for all. Read on to find out how dentists to number teeth!

The Universal Numbering System

Numerical designations for teeth are important for dentists. The Universal Numbering System has been used by dental professionals since the 1930s. This system is applied to 32 teeth: 8 incisors, 4 canines, 8 premolars, and 12 molars in each arch. It assigns a number to each tooth in order of its position from the front to the back of the mouth. The numbers start with 1 on the upper right side of the mouth and increase going counterclockwise around the mouth. The lower left side of your mouth would be assigned number 16 because it is across from 17 on your right side and below 18 on your right side (1 being your upper right canine).

The Palmer Notation Method

A dental numbering chart is a diagram that maps the tooth numbers across both jaws, the left and right. You may have heard of a Palmer notation method or a Palmer notation chart, which is similar to but different from a dental numbering chart. This blog post will explain how teeth get numbered, as well as the difference between these two types of charts. There are two methods for numbering teeth: Dental Notation and Palmer Notation. The dental notation chart shows the top row being labeled 1-8, with each number being on one side of the mouth in a line. The bottom row would be 9-16, with each number again corresponding to one side of the mouth in a line.

Other Numbering Systems

Dental numbering charts are used for dental identification and can be traced back to 1828. The numbers were originally assigned by Frederick Lehman, a German dentist. Numbering starts from the back of the mouth and proceeds to the front of the mouth with each tooth being given a number starting from 1 on the upper jaw, going through all 32 teeth in both jaws. This system is still used today because there are no duplicates, it's easy to use and keep track of, and it's universally accepted among dentists. Other numbering systems have been created over time but they do not have as many advantages as this one does.


Why Is It Important To Know How Teeth Are Numbered?

It is important to know how teeth are numbered because the numbering system can help you determine which teeth are impacted by a problem. For example, if someone is having pain on the left side of their mouth, we may suspect that one or more of their lower left incisors are chipped or cracked. How teeth are numbered can also help you determine where a tooth may have been extracted. After tooth extraction, the dentist will place an identifying tag on the extracted tooth and each neighboring tooth so that they know which one was removed and can keep track of how long it has been since it was extracted.