All of us wish to understand the treatment plan that our dentist provide us to achieve optimal results.  But the truth is most of us get confused trying to figure out the meaning of all the numbers, names and markings.  In all likelihood your dentist will be more than willing to explain, it’s easier to understand if you know the basics of how the teeth numbering and nomenclature works.

Most follow the ADA protocols to name, number the teeth and abbreviate the procedures involved. The scope of this article is to acquaint you with the most commonly used tooth nomenclature and numbering used in Mexico and the United States.

Teeth Numbering:

The dental clinics use a technical system of tooth numbering so that it is easy for everyone involved in the treatment procedure to understand and follow. It prevents confusion and allows everyone to do their part with a clear picture.

The ADA system of tooth numbering depicts the upper and lower teeth in each arch in a clockwise manner. The upper teeth are numbered from 1-16 from right to left and the lower teeth are numbered 17-32 from left to right. Therefore, 1,16,17 and 32 would refer to your wisdom teeth and 6-11 and 22-26 would be your anterior teeth in the upper and lower jaws respectively. Similarly, 6,11 22, 27 would be the canines and so on.

You can refer the teeth chart with numbers below to get a better idea of the nomenclature and numbering system:




Teeth Names and Numbers Chart

Teeth Names

Upper right
1 Central incisor
2 Lateral incisor
3 Canine/Cuspid
4 First Premolar/1st Bicuspid
5 Second Premolar/2nd Bicuspid

6 First Molar
7 Second Molar
8 Third Molar/ Wisdom tooth
Upper left
9 Central incisor
10 Lateral incisor
11 Canine/Cuspid
12 First Premolar/1st Bicuspid
13 Second Premolar/2nd Bicuspid
14 First Molar
15 Second Molar
16 Third Molar/ Wisdom tooth
Lower left
17 Central incisor
18 Lateral incisor
19 Canine/Cuspid
20 First Premolar/1st Bicuspid
21 Second Premolar/2nd Bicuspid
22 First Molar
23 Second Molar
24 Third Molar/ Wisdom tooth
Lower right
25 Central incisor
26 Lateral incisor
27 Canine/Cuspid
28 First Premolar/1st Bicuspid
29 Second Premolar/2nd Bicuspid
30 First Molar
31 Second Molar
32 Third Molar/ Wisdom tooth

This basic tooth chart can act as your guide in tracking your treatment and knowing which tooth or quadrant is being worked upon or is complete. Once you are aware of what is going on in your mouth and the progress of the treatment, not only does your anxiety reduce, it helps you plan better and precisely follow your dentists instructions.


MEXDENTAL acts as a super-connector for patients in the US and Canada seeking to reduce the cost of dental care.  We connect patients with our network of certified and verified dentists practicing in easy access Mexican border towns, tourist destinations, and major cities in Mexico.  Our network of doctors specialize in  advanced cosmetic/reconstructive dentistry (implants, veneers, bridges, etc..) as well as the full suite of general dental procedures using the latest science and technology.  For a free no obligation consult contact us here.

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