When you read about dinosaurs or any other ancient animal species that no longer exists, you’ll often find a good discussion about teeth. That’s because in animals, the teeth are adapted to what they eat. Scientists can tell if a dinosaur or other animal ate meat because they have primarily incisors, whereas a plant eater is distinguished by its molars.

The Century Dental family is passionate about helping you maintain a healthy smile for years to come. We understand that it’s not always easy to care for your teeth, so we’re here to make it easier on you. Through regular dental cleanings and exams, we can discover the beginnings of dental problems and work to reverse them before they turn into something major, such as periodontal disease, for example. We are here to keep your teeth looking beautiful for years to come. In this blog post, we’ll examine the different kinds of teeth that make eating our foods a lot easier. Contact us today to get started!


  1. Incisors. You generally have eight incisor teeth, the four in the front of your mouth and the four in the front on your lower jaw as well. These teeth are designed for cutting up food and are thus thin. They help with the initial bite into food. The central incisors are the ones in the middle, and they are flanked by the lateral incisors. These teeth have a single root. Most meat eaters in the animal kingdom, including your cat and dog, have more incisors that we do for cutting up their prey that they catch.
  2. Canines (Cuspids). Our canines, or cuspids, are our pointy teeth, and we have four of them, two in the upper jaw and two in the lower jaw. These lie next to the lateral incisors. These teeth are designed for tearing and ripping food. They have one pointed cusp (the top part of the tooth that is taller than the rest) and one root. Their roots are the longest, and they form the corners of our mouth. Also known as fangs, these are the longest teeth on prey animals and are especially long for animals so they can grab their food and hold on to it. These are the teeth you associate with vampires.
  3. Premolars (Bicuspids). Traveling back from the canines are the premolars, or bicuspids. These teeth are flat and are designed for crushing up our food to make it easier to swallow. Humans have eight of these, two on each side both on top and on bottom. They are distinguished by their three to four cusps. Some premolars have two roots, others just have one root. Century Dental notes that animals usually have twice as many as we do, with 16 total.
  4. Molars. Molars are the teeth in the very back of your mouth. Broader and flatter than your premolars, these teeth have four to five cusps. These teeth grind our food right before we swallow. Most molars have two roots, with some having three roots. You have 12 molars, three on each side. Your third molars are called your wisdom teeth, which some people do not fully develop. If you have your wisdom teeth removed, you’ll only have eight total.

All in all, most adults have 32 teeth, 28 without your wisdom teeth. Teeth are amazing parts of your body, being some of the strongest parts. Unlike some animal species such as sharks that grow teeth their entire lifetime, or rodents whose teeth never stop growing, humans only get the one set after the baby teeth. Hence, taking care of your teeth is imperative if they are to last your entire lifetime.

Did You Know You Could Have More than 32 Teeth?

Known as supernumerary teeth, or teeth over the normal number, these teeth are extra teeth that some people have. The most common type of extra tooth is an extra incisor that would be located between the two central incisors, called a mesioden. Or, you could have an extra molar, called a paramolar, or an extra canine tooth.


The Century Dental family is located throughout New Jersey, specifically in Eatontown and Jackson. We offer the best in dental treatments, including tooth implants, teeth sealants, dental bridges, dental fillings, and tooth crowns. Our exceptional team cares about your oral hygiene, and we emphasize patient education.

Century Dental has years of experience helping our patients have amazing smiles and healthy teeth. We understand you probably aren’t all that thrilled to see us, but we are over-the-top happy to see you. We try to make your dental visit as easy as possible, with quick and efficient service, an easy insurance process, and stellar results. Contact us today to set up an appointment with a dental specialist!