FDI, Palmer, and Universal Tooth Numbering Systems for Permanent and Temporary Teeth

Different countries use dental notations for their tooth chart numbering system. Here are the four types of tooth numbering systems:

  • FDI
  • Universal
  • Palmer (including Palmer alternates Haderup and Zsigmondy)
  • Letter/Number
tooth chart permanent teeth

Different countries are following their own dental notation. The names of teeth chart and their dental notation are explained in detail below:

FDI Tooth Numbering System

The FDI tooth numbering system stands for Federation Dentaire International. FDI is the most widely used dental notation globally. This FDI notation was developed by the International Organization for Standardization. The FDI teeth numbering  system is a two-digit system. It starts at tooth number 11 on the upper right. The four quadrants are there in the FDI system, and each quadrant has eight teeth.

Many countries follow this system for dental problem identification. Many countries are following this system. Example tooth chart number: Tooth number chart Australia is also following FDI.

FDI Tooth Numbering System For Permanent Teeth

Encircling in four quadrants from the upper right towards the second quadrant of the upper jaw. The tooth number starts from 11 to 18 for the central incisors, canines, premolars, and then molars. The second quadrant starts at 21 to 28. Now the lower jaw starts in the left quadrant, from 31 to 38. The last quadrant from 41 to 48.

FDI Numbering System for Primary Teeth (baby teeth)

As we all know, primary teeth are 20 in number. 10 in the upper arch, which is called the maxillary, and 10 in the lower arch, known as the mandibular arch. Each quadrant has five teeth. As the FDI system is two digit dental notation, the numbers started from 51 from the central incisors towards 55 molars. It’s also started from the upper right jaw from the center. FDI tooth notation is used in many countries, like Canada, Australia, and many more.

Fdi Numbering

Universal Tooth Numbering System

The universal tooth numbering system is also known as the American System. The second-most commonly used dental notation in the United States of America. Tooth numbers chart USA is following the Universal numbering system.

Universal is the only tooth numbering system that follows a clockwise direction and starts from the upper right jaw on the right side. The tooth count of universal tooth numbering starts at 1, and it is named the wisdom tooth or molar. They are represented with capital letters from A to T. The total number of teeth ranges from 1 to 32.

Universal Numbering System Permanent Teeth

Universal tooth numbering system for permanent teeth starts at 1. It starts in the upper jaw, on the right, with the molar or wisdom tooth. It’s also divided into four quadrants. It moves from the right towards the left in the upper jaw, and after that, it will start from left to right in the lower jaw. The universal tooth numbering system is only followed in the United States, Pakistan, and Mexico.

Universal Numbering System Primary Teeth

The primary teeth consist of a total of 20 teeth. It also starts from the upper right and moves toward the left. The primary teeth are whiter. They start with teeth 1–10 in the upper jaw and 11–20 in the lower jaw. Their dental notation also In babies,  the wisdom teeth are not present.

Palmer Tooth Numbering System

Palmer is another famous dental notation used in many countries. This notation is old and was developed in 1998. This dental notation is widely used by orthodontists and practitioners in the United Kingdom. Most people ask this question: which tooth chart number in Europe are people following? The answer to this question is that in Europe, Palmer’s “tooth numbering system is followed.

The Zsigmondy System was a nomenclature for Palmer Notation and was developed in 1981.

Instead of following FDI, people are also following Palmer Notation. Firstly, the Zsigmonday notation was designed 1 to 8 for the adults and I, II, III, IV, and V for the baby teeth, which may cause confusion. Lately, the Palmers changed the tooth notation for babies from A,B,C, D, and E. The rotation, or teeth following format, is the same as FDI, but their only difference is their notation. The notation of the quadrant is given below:

  • right upper quadrant = ┘
  • left upper quadrant = └
  • left lower quadrant = ┐
  • right lower quadrant = 
Palmer tooth numbering system

Palmer Notation Primary Teeth

Palmer dental notation  for primary teeth was in Roman letters I, II, III, IV, and V in Zsigmondy notation before. Lately, in the  Palmer notation numbering system, some changes have been made to avoid any confusion. The tooth from the center starts with the notation A and ends with E. The representation of the Palmer dental notation is given below:

Palmer Notation Permanent Teeth

The permanent teeth have the same indication as FDI, but only the new addition with the chart number is the quadrant notation. Their numbers start from 1 to 8 in their quadrant notation. Different countries follow their own tooth chart.

Victor Haderup Tooth Numbering System

This numbering system is mostly followed in Denmark. Instead of any notation, the + and – signs are added to each number to indicate. The maxillary, or upper jaw, is represented by the + sign. The lower mandibular or lower jaw by the – sign. The side of the sign on the left or right represents the left or right quadrant. The Haderup nomenclature is followed in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden.

Palmer tooth numbering system

Haderup Notation for Primary Teeth

The primary teeth have the same number to follow, from 1 to 5. The + or – sign determines the left or right of the tooth number. +1 is the left upper jaw tooth from the center, and -1 is the lower left tooth from the center.

Haderup Notation for Permanent Teeth

The permanent teeth are numbered from 1 to 8, as of first quadrant in FDI Tooth Numbering system. Their count also starts from the center. They are also denoted by the + or – sign with the quadrant representation.

Different countries use different tooth numbers for their dental notation. Here are the tooth charts number (dental notation) shown in the chart, with their countries below:

CountryDental Notation Most Used
The United States of AmericaUniversal
United KingdomPalmer and FDI
Argentina FDI
CroatiaFDI, Palmer 
DenmarkHaderup (Palmer alternate system)
FranceFDI and Palmer
IndiaFDI and Zsigmondy (Palmer alternate system)
MexicoFDI and Universal
New ZealandFDI
PakistanFDI and Universal
Saudi ArabiaFDI
South AfricaFDI
Sri LankaPalmer
United Arab EmiratesFDI
Countries with Tooth Numberin System Followed


The upper jaw teeth from 1 to 16 called the maxillary arch. The lower jaw teeth from 17 to 32 called the mandibular arch. The maxillary, or upper arch, is a little larger than the mandibular, or lower arch.

The counting starts in the number tooth chart with the maxillary upper right, known as the 3rd molar wisdom tooth. And then it goes along the left corner of the teeth.

Then the lower mandibular counting starts from tooth 17, which is from the left, also known as the 3rd molar wisdom tooth, towards the right one.

Tooth Anatomy

What are my teeth made of? What are the functions of these different kinds of teeth? As we all know, teeth are part of the digestive system, and our teeth are helpful in chewing food. As the four quadrants help us crush the food into small pieces. Humans have mostly 32 teeth, but some have fewer. It’s not mandatory that everyone have 32 permanent teeth. Enamel is the protective layer and the hardest part of the teeth in our body. Two main types of teeth are primary teeth and secondary teeth.

Different types of teeth (incisors, canines, premolars, molars) can have slightly different shapes and functions based on their location in the mouth. Additionally, teeth can vary in size, shape, and number across different species and even among individuals. Dental anatomy is a fascinating subject that is essential for understanding oral health and dental treatments.

  • Crown: The crown is seen above the gum line. Enamel protects it. The gum line is where the tooth crown meets the gum tissue.
  • Root: The root holds the tooth to the jawbone below the gum line. Molars have numerous roots, whereas most teeth have one.
  • Neck: The crown-root junction is the tooth’s neck.
  • Pulp: The tooth’s soft, live pulp. Blood arteries, nerves, and connective tissue supply the tooth and provide sensory information.
  • Dentin: The tooth’s mass is dentin. Though softer than enamel, it is nonetheless durable. Heat, cold, and pressure can reach pulp nerves through dentinal tubules in dentin.
  • Enamel: The crown’s outermost layer is enamel. The body’s toughest material protects against decay and harm.
  • Cementum covers the tooth root. Periodontal ligaments anchor it to the bone.
  • Periodontal ligaments: These fibrous structures anchor the tooth root to the jawbone.
  • Alveolar bone: This bone forms the jaw sockets where teeth roots are embedded.
  • Dental pulp chamber: The tooth’s crown’s hollow center holds dental pulp. The crown is larger than the root canals. The pulp cavity is the dental pulp chamber and root canals.
  • Root canals: Narrow passageways from the pulp chamber to the tooth roots. Roots may have many root canals. Blood veins, nerves, and soft tissues extend from the dental pulp into the root canals.
  • Apical foramen: Each tooth root has a little aperture called the apex. This hole connects pulp nerves and blood vessels to jaw tissues.
  • Cementoenamel junction (CEJ): The CEJ is the line where crown enamel joins root cementum. Gum recession and dental restorations can be diagnosed here.
  • Dentinoenamel junction (DEJ): The crown’s dentin-enamel junction. Dental bonding and cavity preparation use this area.
  • Incisal edge/cusp: Incisors, canines, and premolars and molars have incisal edges or cusps. These sharp or rounded ridges on the teeth’s occlusal (biting) surface help tear, cut, and grind food.
  • Enamel prisms/rods: Tightly packed crystalline crystals make enamel. These prisms, placed from the dentinoenamel junction to the tooth’s surface, strengthen the enamel.
  • Dentin tubules radiate from the pulp to the enamel or cementum. These tubules carry fluid to the dental pulp nerves, making the tooth sensitive to temperature and pressure.