Premolar teeth are those that are between the canine front teeth and the molars. These are transitional teeth; teeth that transition between the tearing function of the canines and the grinding function of the molars. These teeth have primary functions of both molars and canines in chewing. Premolar teeth are named first premolar and second premolar and there are two per quadrant; eight per person. These quadrants are referred to as lower left, lower right, upper left, and upper right. These teeth will have at least two cusps, or elevations in the crown portion of the tooth. The first premolar will have two cusps. The second premolar will have the chance of having two lingual cusps, or smaller cusps that are unequal in size. Premolar teeth are permanent teeth and can be called bicuspids. Primitive man had four premolars per quadrant; 16 per person. Over time, the mesial premolars, or those distal, have been lost. Paleontologists refer to these mesial premolars as premolar 3 and premolar 4.

Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Premolar

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