Dental Terminology
• a model of each arch that contains all of the
teeth in the jaw. You will work with maxillary
(upper) and mandibular (lower) typodonts in
the Tooth Preparation class.
Tooth Types
• Anterior – incisors and canines
• Posterior – premolars and molars
Anatomic vs. Clinical Crown
• Anatomic crown - The part of the tooth which is
covered by enamel, and extends from the occlusal
surface (or incisal edge) to the cementoenamel
junction (CEJ)
• Clinical crown - that portion of enamel visibly present
in the oral cavity; the visible portion of the tooth that is
occlusal to the deepest part of the gingival crevice
Tooth Structure
• Enamel – outer covering of crown
• Dentin - covered by enamel on the crown and
cementum on the root and surrounds the entire pulp
• Pulp – contains nerve and blood supply
• Cementum – outer covering of root of tooth
• DEJ - dentin enamel junction
• CEJ – cementoenamel junction
Gingiva - gums
Numbering of Teeth
• Universal System—used in clinic (#1-32)
Maxillary teeth #1 – 16 starting in the
patient’s upper right
Mandibular teeth #17 – 32 starting in the
patient’s lower left
Numbering of Teeth
• International (FDI) System—used in DentSim
lab (#11, 21, 31, 41 for centrals)
• Incisal - any surface or movement towards the biting edges
of anterior teeth
• Occlusal - any surface or movement towards the chewing
surface of posterior teeth
• Mesial – closest to midline
• Distal – farthest from midline
Occlusal surfaces
(of #15)
(of #15)
Walls of Cavity Preparation
• External wall - prepared cavity surface that
extends to the external tooth surface and
takes the name of the tooth surface (or
aspect) it faces, eg. buccal wall
Buccal Wall
Buccal Side
of Tooth
• Margins - the junctions of the preparation and
the external surface of the tooth
Walls of Cavity Preparation
• Buccal (Facial) –
cheek side
• Lingual – tongue Axial
• Pulpal (floor)
• Gingival (floor)
• Axial – wall
between pulpal
and gingival floors
• External outline (cavosurface margin) -the
preparation outline created by the outer rim
of the preparation
• Internal outline - the outline created by the
pulpal floor
• Preparation retention - created by placing
parallel or slightly converging walls within the
• Internal line angle - line angle whose apex
points into the tooth, eg. pulpal-axial line
• Point angle - junction of three surfaces of
different orientations, eg. Distobucco-occlusal
point angle
Internal line angle
Morphology Terminology
• Cusp - prominence created by the meeting of
inclined surfaces on the occlusal aspect of the
• Fossa - rounded or angular depression in the
occlusal enamel surface (represents the complete
fusion of developmental enamel lobes)
• Central fossa - broad, angular depressed area in
the central portion of the occlusal surface of
Morphology Terminology
• Lingual fossa - a depression in the central portion of
the incisor's lingual surface
• Cingulum - a pronounced convexity on the gingival
third of the lingual surface of an anterior tooth
• Mammelones - 3 minor elevations that appear at the
incisal edge of a newly erupted incisor
• Contact area - area on the mesial or distal of a tooth
that touches the adjacent tooth
• Proximal surface – mesial or distal surface of tooth
• Gingival embrasure - triangular spaces originating at
the proximal contact areas between adjacent teeth
called after the direction towards which they radiate
• Gingival papilla - soft tissue that occupies gingival
Gingival papilla
Gingival embrasure
Morphology Terminology
• Marginal ridge - elevated crest that forms the
mesial and distal margins of the occlusal
surface in premolars and molars
Class I preparation
• a preparation that involves only the occlusal
surface of the tooth (pit and fissure cavity)
Class II preparation
• located on the proximal surfaces of the
posterior teeth. Often includes the occlusal
surface as well as proximal surface
Class III preparation
• mesial or distal surface of anterior teeth. does
not involve incisal edge
Class IV preparation
• preparation of the proximal surface of an
anterior teeth, which involves the incisal angle
• You will learn about all of this terminology in
great detail once you begin dental school.
These are just some basic definitions that will
give you a head start.
• In Dentsim this year we will prepare Class I, II,
and III preparations on the mandibular and
maxillary arches.

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