Learning about the anatomy of your teeth is interesting. Not everyone knows all different types of teeth in their mouth, their feature and characteristics, and their function. Every part of our body has its own function and role including our mouth. Although it is small compared to other parts of the anatomy, the mouth is the home of many parts and players such as teeth which consists of different types like incisors, canines, bicuspids, and molars, dentin, pulp, bone, root, etc. All of them take part in helping you eating, talking, drinking, and smiling. Among the aforementioned parts of the mouth, we will discuss bicuspid tooth. This type of tooth seems to be less popular than wisdom teeth, molars, and other teeth in the mouth. In fact, the bicuspids or premolars also have an important function just like other teeth.
Before explaining the function of bicuspids, it will better to know the function of each teeth type. The front teeth are called incisors. They are sharp and used for cutting food. After the food is cut, it will be torn in pieces by canines. Bicuspids have almost the same function as canines. The two pointed cusps that they have help crush and tear food so it will be easily ground and chewed by molars. Just like other teeth in the mouth, bicuspids also have some different parts such as enamel, dentin, and pulp. Enamel is the outer layer of the tooth. It contains mineral and plays role in protecting the tooth from decay. Therefore, you should care for enamel properly. Meanwhile, dentin is the second part that layers your teeth. The deepest layer is called pulp. It is the place of blood vessels and nerve tissue.
Bicuspid Teeth Definition
Bicuspids or premolars are often called transitional teeth because their position is between canines and molars and they display half features of canines and half of the molars. Their function is also a combination of canines’ and molars’ function. People generally have four bicuspids, two in an upper dental arch, and the two others in the lower arch.
So, how is a bicuspid different from a molar? They might be similar in function but they have different size and shape. If you look at your teeth through a mirror, you will notice that bicuspids are significantly smaller than molars. Moreover, bicuspids only have two cusps while molars have four. Molars also have number of roots, at least two roots. Even the upper molars can have three. In contrast, bicuspids typically have one root except the maxillary first bicuspid that can have two roots.
How about in kids? Do they have bicuspids like adults? The answer is no. Children have the first set of teeth called deciduous teeth that later are replaced by permanent adult teeth. Deciduous teeth or baby teeth consist of twenty teeth and none of them are bicuspids. They don’t have them. In the places where bicuspids are located in adults, children have what are called first molars. These first molars are temporary. They will fall out and be replaced by bicuspids.