Q:

What dental tooth charts do dentistry schools use with their students?

A:

Quick Answer

Dentistry schools use three kinds of dental charts to instruct students: the Universal Numbering System, the Palmer Notation System, and the International System. The most widely used system in the US is the Universal Numbering System.

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Full Answer

Different dental notation systems have different ways of assigning a number or letter to every tooth.

The Universal Numbering System starts counting from the upper-right molar and moves clockwise until it ends with the lower-right third molar. Teeth in the permanent dentition are assigned numbers from 1 to 32, while teeth in the primary dentition are indicated by letters from A to T.

The International Numbering System employs a two-digit method of notation, with the first number indicating the quadrant a tooth is located in, and the second indicating its position within that quadrant. The quadrants in permanent dentition are numbered 1 to 4, starting from the upper-right corner and moving clockwise to the lower left. Quadrants in primary dentition are numbered 5 to 8 and are also counted from the upper-right to lower-left. Individual numbering always starts from the central incisors and moves out towards the molars.

The Palmer Notation System also orders teeth by quadrants, but uses symbols (?? ?? represent quadrant 1 to 4) to indicate the quadrant in which the tooth is found. Adult teeth are individually numbered from 1 to 8, while teeth in the primary dentition are indicated by letters from A to E. Individual numbering starts out from the central incisors and moves out towards the molars. So for instance, the upper-right molar in the permanent dentition is indicated as ?8, while the upper-right molar in the primary dentition is indicated as ?E.

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