Terms used to describe the aspects of the tooth are different to those used when describing other aspects of the body. These terms are used when describing where a lesion is on the tooth eg. periodontal pocket on the palatal aspect of the upper canine. The terms can also be combined to give absolute accuracy for example distopalatal would indicate the surface of the tooth furthest away from the midline and on the aspect facing the palate.
|Mid-line||Refers to the centre point in the mouth between the first incisors on the left and right side, so closest to the midline is the aspect of the tooth in the arch that is closest to the midpoint of the two incisors.|
|Palatal||Surface of the tooth towards the palate.|
|Lingual||Surface of the tooth towards the tongue.|
|Labial||Surface of the tooth towards the lips.|
|Buccal||Surface of the tooth towards the cheeks.|
|Occlusal||Surface of the tooth facing the opposite jaw.|
|Interproximal||Surface between two teeth.|
|Mesial||Surface of the tooth towards the front mid-line.|
|Distal||Surface of the tooth away from the front mid-line.|
|Apical||Towards the root.|
|Coronal||Towards the crown.|
This article was written by Lisa Milella BVSc DipEVDC MRCVS.
Date reviewed: 1 October 2014
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