FDI World Dental Federation notation

FDI World Dental Federation notation is a dental notation widely used by dentists internationally to associate information to a specific tooth.[1]

Developed by the FDI World Dental Federation, World Dental Federation notation is also known as ISO 3950[2] notation.

Orientation of the chart is traditionally "dentist's view", i.e. patient's right corresponds to notation chart left. The designations "left" and "right" on the chart below correspond to the patient's left and right.

Table of codes

Impacted wisdom teeth
X-ray of the teeth and jaw showing the normal permanent teeth. The last two teeth on the patient's left (the dentist's right), 28 and 38 - the maxillary and mandibular third molars (popularly the upper and lower wisdom teeth) are severely impacted.
FDI two-digit notation
Permanent teeth
patient's upper right patient's upper left
18 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28
48 47 46 45 44 43 42 41 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38
patient's lower right patient's lower left
Deciduous teeth (baby teeth)
upper right upper left
55 54 53 52 51 61 62 63 64 65
85 84 83 82 81 71 72 73 74 75
lower right lower left

Codes, names, and usual number of roots: (see chart of teeth at Wikipedia entry: Universal Numbering System)

How the codes are constructed

Syntax: <quadrant code><tooth code>

Sometimes a dot is inserted between quadrant code and tooth code in order to avoid ambiguity with other numbering systems.

Quadrant codes
1 upper right permanent teeth
2 upper left permanent teeth
3 lower left permanent teeth
4 lower right permanent teeth
5 upper right deciduous teeth
6 upper left deciduous teeth
7 lower left deciduous teeth
8 lower right deciduous teeth
Tooth codes
1 central incisors
2 lateral incisors
3 canines
4 1st premolars (permanent teeth) / 1st molar (deciduous teeth)
5 2nd premolars (permanent teeth) / 2nd molar (deciduous teeth)
6 1st molars (permanent teeth)
7 2nd molars (permanent teeth)
8 3rd molars (permanent teeth)


  • "13" = permanent upper right canine
  • "32" = permanent lower left lateral incisor

See also


  1. ^ FDI Two-Digit Notation Archived 2007-04-01 at the Wayback Machine, hosted on the FDI World dental Federation website. Page accessed April 1, 2007.
  2. ^ ISO 3950:2009 Dentistry — Designation system for teeth and areas of the oral cavity

External links

Dental anatomy

Dental anatomy is a field of anatomy dedicated to the study of human tooth structures. The development, appearance, and classification of teeth fall within its purview. (The function of teeth as they contact one another falls elsewhere, under dental occlusion.) Tooth formation begins before birth, and the teeth's eventual morphology is dictated during this time. Dental anatomy is also a taxonomical science: it is concerned with the naming of teeth and the structures of which they are made, this information serving a practical purpose in dental treatment.

Usually, there are 20 primary ("baby") teeth and 28 to 32 permanent teeth, the last four being third molars or "wisdom teeth", each of which may or may not grow in. Among primary teeth, 10 usually are found in the maxilla (upper jaw) and the other 10 in the mandible (lower jaw). Among permanent teeth, 16 are found in the maxilla and the other 16 in the mandible. Most of the teeth have distinguishing features.

Dental notation

Dental professionals, in writing or speech, use several different dental notation systems for associating information with a specific tooth. The three most common systems are the ISO System (ISO 3950, the FDI World Dental Federation notation), Universal Numbering System, and Palmer notation method. The ISO system is used worldwide, and the Universal is used widely in the United States. The ISO System can be easily adapted to computerized charting.

Another system is used by paleoanthropologists.

FDI World Dental Federation

FDI World Dental Federation was established in Paris in 1900 as the Fédération Dentaire Internationale and is the world's leading organization representing the dental profession. It serves as the principal representative body for over one million dentists worldwide, developing health policy and continuing education programmes, speaking as a unified voice for dentistry in international advocacy, and supporting member associations in oral health promotion activities worldwide. FDI’s membership includes over 200 national member associations and specialist groups in some 130 countries.

Human tooth

The human teeth function to mechanically break down items of food by cutting and crushing them in preparation for swallowing and digesting. Humans have four types of teeth: incisors, canines, premolars, and molars, which each have a specific function. The incisors cut the food, the canines tear the food and the molars and premolars crush the food. The roots of teeth are embedded in the maxilla (upper jaw) or the mandible (lower jaw) and are covered by gums. Teeth are made of multiple tissues of varying density and hardness.

Teeth are among the most distinctive (and long-lasting) features of mammal species. Humans, like other mammals, are diphyodont, meaning that they develop two sets of teeth. The first set (called the "baby", "milk", "primary", or "deciduous" set) normally starts to appear at about six months of age, although some babies are born with one or more visible teeth, known as natal teeth. Normal tooth eruption at about six months is known as teething and can be painful.

International notation

International notation may mean:

FDI World Dental Federation notation

Hermann-Mauguin notation - Crystallographic notation system

Decimal_mark#Influence_of_calculators_and_computers - the use of the decimal point as the decimal mark

Maxillary central incisor

The maxillary central incisor is a human tooth in the front upper jaw, or maxilla, and is usually the most visible of all teeth in the mouth. It is located mesial (closer to the midline of the face) to the maxillary lateral incisor. As with all incisors, their function is for shearing or cutting food during mastication (chewing). There is typically a single cusp on each tooth, called an incisal ridge or incisal edge. Formation of these teeth begins at 14 weeks in utero for the deciduous (baby) set and 3–4 months of age for the permanent set.There are some minor differences between the deciduous maxillary central incisor and that of the permanent maxillary central incisor. The deciduous tooth appears in the mouth at 8–12 months of age and shed at 6-7 years, and is replaced by the permanent tooth around 7–8 years of age. The permanent tooth is larger and is longer than it is wide. The maxillary central incisors contact each other at the midline of the face. The mandibular central incisors are the only other type of teeth to do so. The position of these teeth may determine the existence of an open bite or diastema. As with all teeth, variations of size, shape, and color exist among people. Systemic disease, such as syphilis, may affect the appearance of teeth.

Palmer notation

Palmer notation (named after Ohio dentist Dr. Corydon Palmer) is a dental notation used by dentists to associate information to a specific tooth. Also known as the Military System. Although supposedly superseded by the FDI World Dental Federation notation, it overwhelmingly continues to be the preferred method used by orthodontists, dental students and practitioners in the United Kingdom.It was originally termed the Zsigmondy system after the Hungarian dentist Adolf Zsigmondy who developed the idea in 1861, using a Zsigmondy cross to record quadrants of tooth positions. Adult teeth were numbered 1 to 8, and the child primary dentition (also called deciduous, milk or baby teeth) were depicted with a quadrant grid using Roman numerals I, II, III, IV, V to number the teeth from the midline. Palmer changed this to A, B, C, D, E. This makes it less confusing and less prone to errors in interpretation.

The Palmer notation consists of a symbol (┘└ ┐┌) designating in which quadrant the tooth is found and a number indicating the position from the midline. Adult teeth are numbered 1 to 8, with deciduous (baby) teeth indicated by a letter A to E. Hence the left and right maxillary central incisor would have the same number, "1", but the right one would have the symbol, "┘", underneath it, while the left one would have, "└".

Universal Numbering System

The Universal Numbering System also called the "American System", is a dental notation system for associating information to a specific tooth used in the United States.

See video for details


In the rest of the world, a different International Standard (DIN EN) ISO 3950:2016 is used.

ISO standards by standard number

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