La numérotation des dents : tout ce que vous devez savoir

Tooth numbering: everything you need to know

For several years, tooth numbering has been an international system assigned to each tooth in our mouth.

In this comprehensive article, we will present in detail everything you need to know about tooth numbering, its advantages and the different systems used in the dental field.

Dental numbering


  1. Why identify your teeth
  2. Identification of teeth by quadrants
  3. There are other international systems for numbering teeth
  4. The Palmer notation
  5. Universal dental numbering (United States)
  6. Identification of teeth by their surface
  7. How to identify a tooth
  8. The odontogram: a diagram to visualize the entire dentition

    I. Why identify your teeth

    Tooth numbering is essential for dental professionals because it helps quickly and accurately identify each tooth in the mouth.

    This facilitates communication between dentists, dental assistants and specialists.

    With this numbering, dentists can note and track treatments, take x-rays, and provide effective dental care.

    For dental insurance, tooth numbering is also useful for estimating treatment costs and processing claims more efficiently.

    Additionally, for individuals, understanding tooth numbering can be beneficial to better consider and understand dental care.

    You will thus be more comfortable at the dentist and will be able to better interpret dental treatment quotes.

    Tooth Numbering

    II. Identification of teeth by quadrants

    The International Dental Federation (FDI) has established a quadrant tooth numbering system to facilitate exchanges between dental health professionals. The mouth is thus divided into four parts, called quadrants:

    1. Quadrant 1 (top right)
    2. Quadrant 2 (top left)
    3. Quadrant 3 (bottom left)
    4. Quadrant 4 (bottom right)
    Tooth numbering

    Each quadrant contains eight teeth numbered 1 to 8, starting from the middle to the bottom.

    For example, the first central incisor of the right upper quadrant is denoted 11, the first central incisor of the left upper quadrant is denoted 21, and so on.

    Using this system, dentists can easily identify the region of a specific tooth, making dental diagnosis and treatment easier.

    Tooth Numbering

    III. Other international systems for numbering teeth

    Besides FDI numbering, there are other international systems for tooth numbering:

    A. The Palmer Notation

    The Palmer notation also divides the mouth into four parts, but instead of quadrants it uses semi-archs:

    1. Upper right side semi-arch
    2. Upper left side semi-arch
    3. Lower left side semi-arch
    4. Lower right side semi-arch

    This system is often used in some countries and allows precise identification of teeth based on their position in the mouth.

    Tooth numbering

    B. Universal Dental Numbering (United States)

    In the United States, another numbering system is commonly used.

    It starts with tooth number 1 at the upper right part of the mouth and ends with tooth number 32 at the lower right part.

    This system is simple to understand and widely used in the country.

    Tooth numbering

    IV. Identification of teeth by their surface

    It is also possible to identify teeth based on their surface area, which is useful for flagging a specific area of ​​the tooth in need of treatment.

    For example :

    1. D = Distal (surface farthest from the midline)
    2. M = Mesial (surface closest to midline)
    3. O = Occlusal (chewing surface of molars and premolars)
    4. I = Incisor (chewing surface of the anterior teeth)
    5. L = Lingual (surface on the side of the tongue)
    6. B = Buccal (surface on the side of the cheeks)

    This precision is essential for certain dental treatments and the billing of restorative care which is done by surface area.

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    Dental numbering

    V. How to identify a tooth

    To identify a tooth, simply specify the quadrant and position of the tooth.

    For example, tooth number 34 is designated as "quadrant 3, position 4."

    If a cavity affects several surfaces of a tooth, the letters corresponding to the affected surfaces will be used.

    For example, for decay on all surfaces of tooth 34, we would write "tooth #34 DMOLB".

    Dental numbering

    VI. The Odontogram: a diagram to visualize the entire dentition

    Finally, the odontogram or dental diagram allows you to visualize and better understand your teeth.

    It shows the structure of each tooth, from enamel to dental pulp.

    It is a valuable tool used by dentists to explain treatments and diagnoses to patients.

    There you go, you now know everything about tooth numbering!

    Now you can identify your teeth like your favorite dentist would.

    If you have any comments, questions or if you liked this article, do not hesitate to let us know in the comments area.

    We will be happy to respond to you as quickly as possible!

    Dental numbering

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