Premolars, just as their name signifies, are positioned just before the molars in the human mouth. Medically, these teeth are called bicuspids. The premolars are deemed transitional teeth as they primarily function to guide food from the cuspids near the beginning of the mouth back to the molars close to the posterior of the mouth for grinding or chewing.
Typically, humans have eight premolars—each of the four dental quadrants house two premolars inside the mouth. Although the precise age at the appearance of these premolars differs, the first one usually shows up when someone turns nine years old, followed by a second premolar the next year.
Shared Anatomy of Molars and Premolars
Premolars are smaller in size than molars, but their anatomy is similar to that of molars. Premolars have one to two roots tightly embedded in the bone for stabilization. Adults are predisposed to have around 12 molars while they make do with eight premolars.
The principal differentiation between premolar and molar teeth are in their form and size. A molar possesses four cusps or points, while a premolar features just two. Both premolar and molar teeth possess pits and fissures within their cusps that can confine the food we chew. However, they can also hold the bacteria that leads to cavities. Unfortunately, the holes in molars are more rooted and difficult to be kept clear of cavity-inducing particles.
While molars are the largest of all of the teeth, they do come handy for properly grinding and chewing the food we eat into smaller pieces for easier swallowing. They prevent humans from choking through their robust grinding mechanism. Their design is intended to stand the force generated through the actions of chewing and clenching. However, their actions wouldn't be possible without the primary function carried out by premolars of passing the food to them. Reach out to us to learn more about premolars and to make sure yours are in good shape.
Dental Blog | Dentist Normandy Park, WA | Watermark Dentistry Our team at Watermark Dentistry has provided this educational blog as a resource to our patients. Click here to learn about procedures, home care and more! Watermark Dentistry, 18537 First Avenue South, Suite A, Normandy Park, WA 98148-1888 • (206) 242-5808 • watermarkdentistry.com • 9/25/2023 • Page Phrases: dentist Normandy Park WA •