How Do Teeth Get Numbered?

Most of us have heard it before: the dentist say in a low voice to the hygienist, “We’ve got decay on 22” or something of that nature. Every tooth in our mouth gets numbered in a systematic way that is universal for all patients, called ‘The Universal Numbering System.’ It enables dentists from different areas of the US to reference teeth in a standard format, as well as communicate with hygienists and assistants about care and treatment. The numbering system has been adopted by the American Dental Association and is also used by insurance companies across the country.

tooth numbers

The system starts with tooth #1, which is the maxillary (upper) right third molar. From there, the numbers advance along the maxillary arch all the way across and around to the maxillary (upper) left third molar, which is tooth #16.

After that, we drop down to the mandibular (lower) left third molar (tooth #17). Once again, we circle around the mandibular arch until tooth #32, the mandibular (lower) third molar, has been reached.

If a tooth is missing, the number is still carried out as if the tooth were still there.

If you’re interested in knowing exactly what we call each one of your teeth, check out this list:

Tooth #1: Maxillary (upper) right 3rd molar
Tooth #2: Maxillary (upper) right 2nd molar
Tooth #3: Maxillary (upper) right 1st molar
Tooth #4: Maxillary (upper) right 2nd premolar (bicuspid)
Tooth #5: Maxillary (upper) right 1st premolar (bicuspid)
Tooth #6: Maxillary (upper) right canine (cuspid)
Tooth #7: Maxillary (upper) right lateral incisor
Tooth #8: Maxillary (upper) right central incisor
Tooth #9: Maxillary (upper) left central incisor
Tooth #10: Maxillary (upper) left lateral incisor
Tooth #11: Maxillary (upper) left canine (cuspid)
Tooth #12: Maxillary (upper) left 1st premolar (bicuspid)
Tooth #13: Maxillary (upper) left 2nd premolar (bicuspid)
Tooth #14: Maxillary (upper) left 1st molar
Tooth #15: Maxillary (upper) left 2nd molar
Tooth #16: Maxillary (upper) left 3rd molar
Tooth #17: Mandibular (lower) left 3rd molar
Tooth #18: Mandibular (lower) left 2nd molar
Tooth #19: Mandibular (lower) left 1st molar
Tooth #20: Mandibular (lower) left 2nd premolar (bicuspid)
Tooth #21: Mandibular (lower) left 1st premolar (bicuspid)
Tooth #22: Mandibular (lower) left canine (cuspid)
Tooth #23: Mandibular (lower) left lateral incisor
Tooth #24: Mandibular (lower) left central incisor
Tooth #25: Mandibular (lower) right central incisor
Tooth #26: Mandibular (lower) right lateral incisor
Tooth #27: Mandibular (lower) right canine (cuspid)
Tooth #28: Mandibular (lower) right 1st premolar (bicuspid)
Tooth #29: Mandibular (lower) right 2nd premolar (bicuspid)
Tooth #30: Mandibular (lower) right 1st molar
Tooth #31: Mandibular (lower) right 2nd molar
Tooth #32: Mandibular (lower) right 3rd molar

If you have any questions about your dental health or if you would like to schedule a free consultation, please contact our team or make an appointment. Our incredible staff will give you the best dental care possible.

Schedule a Free Consultation

We are dedicated to making your smile the brightest it can be. Fill out the form below to schedule a free consultation.

Notice to Website Viewers

The contents of this website, such as text, graphics, images, and other material contained on the Site (“Content”) are for informational purposes only. No doctor/patient relationship is established by your use of this site. No diagnosis or treatment is being provided. The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical or dental advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician, dentist, or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical or dental condition. The information contained here should be used in consultation with a dentist of your choice. No guarantees or warranties are made regarding any of the information contained within this web site. This web site is not intended to offer specific medical, dental or surgical advice to anyone. Further, this web site, the creators of the website, and the owners of the website take no responsibility for web sites hyper-linked to this site and such hyperlinking does not imply any relationships or endorsements of the linked sites. Reliance on any information provided by the Site or others appearing on the Site at our invitation, or other visitors to the Site is solely at your own risk.

Start typing and press Enter to search

Patient's Dental Dictionary | 6th Ave Periodontics