Going to the dentist can be an intimidating experience, especially when you hear unfamiliar dental terms being thrown around. Understanding the dental lingo can help alleviate some of the anxiety and empower you to have informed conversations with your dentist.


Tooth Numbers


When discussing dental health, dentists use a universal numbering system to identify each tooth. This system is divided into quadrants and each tooth is assigned a specific number. The top right quadrant starts with the number 1 and counts up to 8, moving towards the back of the mouth. The top left quadrant uses numbers 9 through 16, and the bottom left and right quadrants are numbered 17 to 32, respectively. This system allows dentists to efficiently communicate about specific teeth during examinations or treatments.




The mouth is divided into four quadrants, each containing a set of teeth – the upper right, upper left, lower left, and lower right. Understanding which quadrant a tooth belongs to helps dentists diagnose and treat dental issues more accurately. For example, if you have pain in your lower right quadrant, your dentist can focus their examination on that area to identify potential problems.


Gum Scores


Gum scores, also known as periodontal charting, assess the health of your gums. Dentists use a tool called a periodontal probe to measure the depth of the pockets between your gums and teeth. These measurements are recorded as gum scores and are crucial in diagnosing gum disease. Ideally, the pocket depth should be between 1 and 3 millimeters. Higher measurements may indicate gum inflammation or periodontitis.

Understanding dental phrases such as tooth numbers, quadrants, and gum scores can make your dental visits more meaningful and less intimidating. If you want to learn more, check out WebMD’s Glossary of Dental Health Terms. By familiarizing yourself with these phrases and words, you can effectively communicate and actively participate in discussions about your oral health. So, the next time you visit Maple Park Dental, feel confident in discussing your dental concerns and understanding the comprehensive care that is provided for your teeth and gums. Remember, knowledge is power, and the more you know about dental lingo, the better equipped you are to maintain a healthy and beautiful smile.