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Surfaces of the Tooth

  • Occlusal – You might think of this as the “top” of a tooth. It’s the surface of the back (molar and premolar) teeth that is used for biting or chewing.
  • Buccal – This is the tooth surface that faces the outside of your mouth. It is the tooth surface that is closest or next to your cheek.
  • Lingual – This is the surface of a tooth that is closest or next to your tongue.
  • Palatal – Just like Lingual, this is the surface of a tooth that is closest or next to your tongue., but on your upper teeth this is called the palatal surface.
  • Mesial and distal — These are the sides that come into contact with adjacent teeth. The mesial side faces the front of the mouth. The distal side faces the back of the mouth.
  • Cusps — The parts of the occlusal surface that are raised.

(Photo shown depicts the mouth of a canine)

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