The premolars are one of the four main types of teeth. While the molars and canines often get most of the attention when talking about teeth, the premolars also serve some pretty important roles.
What Do the Premolars Look Like?
The premolars are found in front of the molars, and they may be called bicuspids. You actually have eight premolars, two of which are found in each of your mouth's four dental quadrants. They start to arrive at around nine years of age, and they are fairly flat. For bone stabilization, they may also have either one or two roots, but those will be hidden below the gum line.
What Do the Premolars Do?
The premolars work similarly to both the canines and the molars. They are transitional teeth found between these other two varieties, and this is the point in the mouth that transitions between tearing of the food and grinding.
The primary function of the premolars is during chewing, as they overlap the functions of both canines and molars. Once chewed at this portion of the mouth, food moves back to the molars where it can be further broken down before swallowing.
Are Premolars that Different from Molars?
Premolars are quite similar to molars in both structure and anatomy. However, adults usually have 12 total molars compared to the 8 total premolars. The molars are further away in the back of the moth, and they erupt earlier than the premolars. In fact, the first molars tend to emerge through the mouth at around six years old.
It should also be known that the third molars are the wisdom teeth. These are often removed from the mouth, as many people don't have enough space to accommodate them. For this reason, a lot of people end up with an equal number of both molars and premolars.
Do you have questions about how to better care for your premolars? If so, give our office a call today.