Figure 4-4. Permanent teeth; numbers of the teeth.
SURFACES OF TEETH
For convenience of description and as an aid in denoting the location of areas of
decay and restorations, the crown part of a tooth is divided into a number of surfaces.
Some of these surfaces are characterized by certain anatomic features such as pits,
grooves, and ridges. Every dental specialist should be familiar with these terms. These
surfaces are named to indicate the direction each surface faces. See figure 4-5.
a. Lingual. The lingual surface is that surface of the tooth that faces toward the
b. Facial. The facial surface of a posterior (back) tooth faces toward the cheek.
In some textbooks, it is referred to as the buccal surface because it lies next to the
buccinator (cheek muscle). The facial surface of an anterior (front) tooth faces toward
the lips. In some textbooks, it is referred to as the labial surface because it lies next to
the labia (lips). In this subcourse, the term facial surface will be used.
c. Occlusal. The occlusal surface is the broad chewing surface found on
posterior teeth (bicuspids and molars). The occlusal surface faces toward and contacts
the teeth of the opposite jaw.