referring to teeth by numbers (wisdom tooth = eighths tooth)

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Senior Member
Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
To not go off-topic in the other thread:
Very interesting you call it ottavo, Czech also say osmička which means the same (eight).
That's easy to explain - just take a look at a full set of human teeth: in each jaw there are 16 teeth, divide a jaw into halves and you've got eight - count then from incisors back to the wisdom tooth, and there you are - the last one is the eighth. :)

Austrian dentists usually refer to teeth by numbers; not necessarily when talking to the patient*) but when talking among themselves, or to their assistant (in presence of their patient):

Einser = first incisor
Zweier = second incisor
Achter = wisdom tooth

As your post and the previous one from ElFrikiChino in the other thread shows, this is also done in other countries. :)

*) Depending on how much they are aware of their patients' understanding of doctor's language. :)
  • Hakro

    Senior Member
    Finnish - Finland
    My dentist and her assistant always use numbers for different teeth and latin words for different sides of a tooth when they speak between themselves, but if they talk to me they use simpler expressions like "this tooth here" and "the tongue side".

    By the way, I've heard dentists use the phrase "I laughed so that the sevens were showing". I like that.


    Wisdom teeth in Turkish are called 20 yaş dişi which litterally means: teeth of the age of 20. Most probably because they start to come out by then in most people :p

    Other than that the teeth aren't called with numbers in Turkish.



    jednička (pl. jedničky) = the one - first incisor
    dvojka (pl. dvojky) = the two - second incisor
    trojka (pl. trojky) = the three - canine
    čtyřka (pl. čtyřky) = the four - first premolar
    pětka (pl. pětky) = the five - second premolar
    šestka (pl. šestky) = the six - first molar
    sedmička (pl. sedmičky) = the seven - second molar
    osmička (pl. osmičky) = the eight - third molar, wisdom tooth

    vlevo - on the left
    vpravo - on the right
    dole - down
    nahoře - up

    f. e.
    šestka vlevo nahoře - the six on the left up
    sedmička vpravo dole - the seven on the right down


    Senior Member
    It is possible to refer to teeth with numeral terms, in colloquial contexts. Even small children use these terms - they certainly aren't doctorspeak:

    (the "т" is elided in casual speech)
    седмица (apparently standard, but frowned upon, since седумка is preferred, but if you're referring to teeth in this informal way, you wouldn't use that standard term)
    осмица (apparently non-standard; the standard form is "осумка" but is inappropriate for the same reason as "седумка" in the context of teeth)

    These terms actually apply to many different things - in school, for instance, they refer to grades (in Macedonia, there's a 1-5 grade system in primary and high schools, and a 6-10 system in universities), and in card games they refer to cards. Basically, they can refer to any item that's identified with a number. It's also interesting to note that the first term, "кец" has a more logical synonym, "единица", derived from "еден", meaning "one", but that cannot be used to refer to teeth or cards, though it can be used to refer to grades and coins. So, there are some unexpected boundaries when the numeral "one" is concerned.

    As for the proper name of teeth:

    секач - incisor
    песјак - canine
    преткатник - premolar
    катник - molar
    умник - wisdom tooth


    Senior Member
    секач - incisor
    песјак - canine
    преткатник - premolar
    катник - molar
    умник - wisdom tooth
    It is also known as кучешки заб (kúčeški zab) and очник (óčnik).


    Senior Member
    Brazílie, portugalština
    Očné zuby in Slovak and sometimes oční zuby in Czech, although špičáky seems to be more common, also mean canine.
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