Have you ever heard your dentist talk about your premolars? You have all of your permanent teeth, so what exactly is he talking about? The term premolars may sound like primary teeth, but in fact, they are just another name for the bicuspids. They are permanent teeth that are found between the upper molars and your canines.
They are thought of as transitional teeth, as they display some of the features of both the molars and the canines, and you’ll have four on each dental arch.
Does Everyone Have Premolars?
While all adults will have premolars, if you looked into your child’s mouth to try to identify which of his teeth are molars and which are the premolars, you would have a hard time. Why, you ask? Well, children don’t have bicuspids. The baby teeth have first molars rather than premolars, but when they fall out, they will be replaced by the premolars.
Premolars vs. the Molars
The premolars and molars look an awful lot alike, so do they really need a different name? Don’t they do the exact same thing? The main difference between these two different types of teeth is the shape and their size. Molars tend to be quite a bit larger than the premolars, and while molars will have four cusps, a premolar will only have two.
There is also a difference between the two types of teeth when it comes to the roots. Premolars usually only have one root, while molars will have at least two – upper molars usually even have three roots.
Despite some of the differences between the molar and premolars, they both need to be cared for properly and the same way. Ensure that you are getting into the back of your mouth when brushing and flossing. If you have additional questions about caring for these or any other teeth, contact your dentist.