Introduction to Dental Science

ANTH 4523

M,W,F   9:30 - 10:20

Instructor:  Jerome C. Rose      Old Main 340     phone:  575-5247

Office Hours:

There will always be a list of open appointment times for at least two days each week posted outside of the Anthropology Office at Old Main 330 at least one week ahead. If you need more time than the 15 minute time slot just put your name down for as many time slots as you think that you will need. The most efficient way to contact me is by E-mail because I can read and answer them late in the afternoon or early evening when I have time to sit at my desk: Of course you may always see me in class and set up an appointment. If you call, persist until you reach me as there is no voice mail.

Class Purpose:

Dental Science has been designed to provide you, the student, with a fundamental knowledge of the human dentition including: morphology, anatomy, embryology, growth and development, and pathology. For the predental student, this course will provide a general introduction to the courses taken during the first year of dental school. For the Biological Anthropology student, this course provides the information necessary to begin the study of and research on the human dentition.

Course Organization:

The course begins with a study of dental morphology and functional anatomy and then progresses to embryology and growth. The rationale for this sequence is my opinion that growth and development is easier to understand if it is preceded by a firm knowledge of what the teeth will look like at the end. There will be laboratory sessions for looking at teeth held during regular class time.


Simon Hillson 1996 Dental Anthropology. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press (optional)

James K. Avery 2000 Essentials of Oral Histology and Embryology: A Clinical Approach. St. Louis, Mosby (paper)


Topics /Reading Hillson/ Reading Avery

Introduction /1

Dental Morphology Anterior dentition /2, 3

Dental Morphology Posterior Dentition and

Primary Dentition

Oral-Facial Functional /4/ 13


Tooth Wear and Modification/ 11

Development of the face and teeth /5/ 1,2, 3, 4, 5 Enamel 6, 10 and Append. B 7

Dentin /7/ 8, 9

Cement /8/ 10, 11, 12

Age determination/ 9/ 6

Pathology/ 12/ 16

Research 13

!Scroll to bottom of page for a slideshow of teeth!

Dental Anatomy Handout

Click on the icons below to download,

or open, the following sections of the handout.

Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader , to download click here

Course requirements:

There will be four examinations of equal weight, including the final. Graduate students will be required to do extra readings, write an annotated bibliography, and master the dental morphology scoring techniques.

Test Make Up Policy:

there are times when an exam must be missed, this must be requested in writing with documentation before the day of the exam and arrangements will be made in writing. If an exam is missed and there is documentation of a legitimate excuse, then a 20 page library research project will be assigned and the grade on this will be used for the missed examination.


Apical---the surfaces of a tooth that face towards the apex of the roots

Buccal---the surface of canines, premolars and molars facing the cheeks

Cervix---the meeting point of the crown and root (the CEJ-cement-enamel junction)

Cingulum---broad bulge girdling the cervical one-third of the crown

Contact area---area of contact between two teeth where the mesial and distal surfaces of adjacent teeth abut

Crest---large ridges descending from the apices of cusps or connecting two cusps

Crown---the part of the tooth that projects into the mouth;  coated with enamel

Cusp---pyramidal or cone shaped elevation on the occlusal surface of a tooth with three to four ridges or crests descending from its apex

Cuspid---elevation smaller than a cusp

Cuspule---elevation smaller than a cuspule

Dentine---the tissue that forms the core of the whole tooth

Distal---the surface of all teeth that faces along the dental arcade away from the median sagittal plane

Enamel---the hard coating covering the crown of the tooth

Fissure---a fault resulting from the imperfect joining of two cusps or lobes

Fossa---round depression

Groove---linear, trough-like depression between cusps

Incisal---the cutting edge of incisors and canines (equivalent to occlusal in the teeth that overlap during normal occlusion

Labial---the surfaces of incisors facing the lips

Lingual---the surface of all teeth that faces the tongue

Lobe---large, rounded projections on occlusal surface

Mammelons---rounded prominence (on incisal margins when they first erupt)

Mesial---the surface of all teeth that faces along the dental arcade towards the median sagittal plane

Occlusal---the surface of all teeth that parallels the plane in which upper and lower dentitions meet.  In particular, it is used to describe      the surface of premolars and molars that meets in normal occlusion

Pit---small circular, tightly defined depression on crown

Pulp---the living tissue of the tooth

Ridge---similar to crests, but smaller and less sharply defined

Root---the part of the tooth embedded in the jaws;  coated with cement

Tubercle---small, rounded prominence on surface of tooth

Wear facet---flat, polished surface created by habitual contact between teeth

Numerical Nomenclature Code

1.    Mesioincisal Angle
2.    Distoincisal Angle

3.    Mesiolabial Line Angle

4.    Distobuccal Line Angle

5.    Mesiobucal Angle

6.    Distobuccal Angle

7.    Mesiolingual Angle

8.    Distolingual Angle

9.    Root Apex

10.  Cusp Apex

11.  Axial Root Center

12.  Cervix

13.  Cingulum

14.  Proximal Root Concavity

15.  Mesial Concavity

16.  Contact Area

17.  Bucal Cusp

18.  Lingual Cusp

19.  Mesiobuccal Cusp

20.  Mesiolingual Cusp

21.  Distobuccal Cusp

22.  Distolingual Cusp

23.  Distal Cusp

24.  Carabelli Cusp

25.  Mesial Marginal Ridge Cusp

26.  Lingual Fossa

27.  Mesiolingual Fossa

28.  Distolingual Fossa

29.  Mesial Triangular Fossa

30.  Distal Triangular Fossa

31.  Central Fossa

32.  Distal Fossa

33.  Mesiolabial Groove

34.  Distolabial Groove

35.  Mesial Marginal Groove

36.  Supplemental Groove

37.  Mesial Groove

38.  Distal Groove

39.  Central Groove

40.  Mesiobuccal Groove

41.  Distobuccal Groove

42.  Mesiolingual Groove
43.  Distolingual Groove
44.  Lingual Groove

45.  Buccal Groove

46.  Carabelli Groove

47.  Height of Contour

48.  Cervical Line

49.  Buccal Vertical Apex Line

50.  Lingual Vertical Apex Line

51.  Mesial Lobe

52.  Middle Lobe

53.  Distal Lobe

54.  Mesial Mammelon

55.  Middle Mammelon

56.  Distal Mammelon

57.  Medial Longitudinal Axis

58.  Lingual Pit

59.  Mesial Pit

60.  Distal Pit

61.  Buccal Pit

62.  Central Pit

63.  Carabelli Pit

64.  Incisal Ridge

65.  Mesial Marginal Ridge

66.  Distal Marginal Ridge

67.  Mesial Cusp Ridge

68.  Distal Cusp Ridge

69.  Distal Transverse Ridge

70.  Transverse Ridge

71.  Buccal Ridge

72.  Lingual Ridge

73.  Oblique Ridge

74.  Anterior Transverse Ridge

75.  Triangular Ridge

76.  Buccal Root

77.  Lingual Root

78.  Mesiobuccal Root

79.  Distobuccal Root

80.  Mesial Root

81.  Distal Root

82.  Root Bifurcation

83.  Root Trunk (base)

84.  Lingual Tubercle


Click on the items below for a slide show of each tooth.

Maxillary Left Central Incisor
Maxillary Left Lateral Incisor

Mandibular Left Central Incisor

Mandibular Left Lateral Incisor

Maxillary Left Canine

Mandibular Left Canine

Maxillary Left Premolar
Mandibular Left Premolars

Maxillary Left Molars
Mandibular Left Molar

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