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Understanding Your Dental Anatomy

Last updated 6 years ago

Teeth are an interesting and integral part of the human anatomy. Chewing and digestion of food, speech, facial feature development and appearance, and even self-confidence are all influenced by the teeth and their health. Advanced tooth and gum disease can even affect vital organs, playing a role in the development and exacerbation of various chronic diseases. If you are curious to learn more about your teeth and the importance of prioritizing dental care, read on to learn more about your dental anatomy.

The Basic Tooth Structure

Most humans will have between 48 and 52 teeth in their lifetime, but no more than 32 at once. Young children generally have 20 teeth, 10 of which are found in the upper (maxilla) jaw and 10 in the lower (mandible) jaw. On each jaw sit four incisors, two canine teeth, and four molars. Once these teeth start falling out, typically between the ages of six and 10, they are replaced with permanent teeth.

The six additional teeth that develop on each jaw when the permanent teeth erupt are all molars of sorts. Four of these are premolars, which are especially helpful for chewing. The other two are called third molars, which are better known as “wisdom teeth.”

Formation of Teeth

Both primary and permanent start to develop before a baby is born, although primary teeth do not start to grow in until between six months and a year after birth.

Tooth Development

Various factors play a role in the diverse patterns in which teeth develop. Primary and permanent teeth that never erupt are usually the result of irregularities in prenatal development. When a permanent tooth does not develop, a cosmetic dentistry professional may affix a dental implant in a patient’s jaw in place of the missing tooth. Many people are born with only a partial set of third molars or no third molars at all, a phenomenon that some professionals attribute to the evolution of dental anatomy. Dental malocclusions, characterized by poor bites or crooked teeth, are also common and can be treated with dental braces or Invisalign. 

Are you looking for a Midtown Manhattan dentist who has a wealth of experience with general and cosmetic treatments? If so, call (212) 661-0949 to arrange a dental consultation with Dr. Kenn Kakosian, D.D.S., P.C.


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All content and information are of an unofficial nature and are not intended to be interpreted as dental advice.
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