tooth number chart

How To Interpret A Tooth Number Chart?

It can be confusing to read, let alone interpret, all the numbers on your child’s tooth chart. Before you call the dentist or schedule another checkup, learn how to use a tooth number chart so you can determine whether your child needs any additional dental treatment or if he’s doing just fine with his current oral care regimen. Here’s what every tooth number means and how you can put it to use.


Ever since I was a little girl, I have been fascinated by teeth. It is the one thing that sets us apart from all other animals – we use our teeth for everything. Dental care is important for the health of your mouth and can help you avoid serious health problems such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes. The first step in dental care is making sure that you have healthy gums and strong teeth. There are many ways to keep your mouth healthy; brushing at least twice a day with an ADA-approved toothpaste, flossing once per day, eating nutritious food, drinking plenty of water throughout the day and visiting the dentist regularly for professional cleanings and checkups.

The Universal Numbering System

O1 refers to teeth on the right side of your mouth (left side of your chart). O2 refers to teeth on top right side of your mouth (top left corner of chart)

M1 refers to teeth in front of your left side of your mouth (right side top right corner)

R2 refers to the second last molar tooth on your bottom row (bottom left corner) and L4 refers to the fourth last molar tooth in your top row. The number 4 after the letter or number means that it is located on the fourth last tooth from where you are counting, as an example, L5 refers to the fifth-last molar tooth from where you are counting. The letters S, D and T also have numbers: S5 is fifth-last premolars, D3 is third-last molars and T3 is third-last premolars

The Palmer Notation Method

In the Palmer notation method of numbering teeth, the tooth number is determined by counting from the midline of the face. Generally, this number increases in a clockwise direction but there are exceptions. When counting from the incisors, starting with the upper left tooth; you would count 1-3-7-2-4-8. The Palmer notation method is used because it allows for easy identification of teeth numbers and provides some indication as to what type of tooth they are.

The FDI World Dental Federation notation system

For example, if you have 32 teeth in your upper and lower jaws, then your tooth chart would read 4-16. If you have 16 teeth in your left lower jaw and 8 teeth on your right, then it would read 8-8. If you have 12 top and 12 bottom, it would read 12-12.

The chart is also important because it can help dentists analyze patients’ oral health before starting any procedures.


Using the chart, you can find the tooth number of your tooth and take a look at what each number means. If you’re not sure how to interpret the chart or how it’s used, be sure to walk in dentist near me for any additional questions.

By Michael Caine

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