How Are Teeth Numbered on a Dental Chart?


Quick Answer

Starting with number one, the maxillary third molar on the right-hand side, dental charts using the universal numbering system increase by one for each tooth around the top of the mouth. The numbering continues with the left mandibular third molar as number 17, increasing going back along the bottom.

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Full Answer

On dental charts based on the universal numbering system, teeth on the left side appear on the right and vice versa, as the system assumes the patient's point of view. While this systems assigns permanent teeth numeric values, the 20 baby teeth are assigned letters in the same manner. For these primary teeth, the same principle applies but uses letters. The notational standard assigns the letters A through J along the top teeth, from the right to the left, and the letters K through T from left to right along the bottom.

Dentist in the United States primarily use the universal numbering system . Another notation, the FDI World Dental Federation or ISO notation, is used by dentists internationally. It assigns two-digit numbers to both primary and permanent teeth. Other notations exist, but these two cover the majority of dentists worldwide.

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