A means of graphically recording the presence and location of teeth and associating information with them within a dentition. More than 32 different systems have been described but only a few have achieved widespread acceptance. These include the Palmer tooth notation system (originally termed the Zsigmondy system after the Hungarian dentist Adolf Zsigmondy who developed the idea in 1861, using a Zsigmondy cross to record quadrants of tooth positions: also known as chevron, or set square system). The mouth is divided into four quadrants and each permanent tooth is assigned a number from 1 to 8 starting at the midline and each primary tooth assigned a letter of the alphabet from A to E also starting at the midline. The number or letter is placed inside an L-shaped symbol to indicate the quadrant. e.g └D describes the upper left primary first molar and 5┘describes the upper right second premolar.With the advent of electronic recording, the quadrant indicator may be replaced by UL, UR, LL, and LR to indicate the respective quadrants. The designations ‘left’ and ‘right’ on the chart correspond to the patient's left and right, respectively. The Federation Dentaire Internationale (FDI) notation system (also known as ISO-3950 notation) was first developed in 1971 and is used more internationally than the Palmer system. The mouth is divided into quadrants and a two-digit code is used to designate each tooth, the first digit representing the quadrant and the second the tooth position. The quadrants are numbered 1 to 4 in the permanent dentition and 5 to 8 in the primary dentition, such that the upper right quadrant is 1 or 5, upper left is 2 or 6, lower left is 3 or 7, and the lower right is 4 or 8, depending on the dentition. The designations ‘left’ and ‘right’ on the chart correspond to the patient's left and right, respectively.The universal/national numbering system is a dental notation system for associating information to a specific tooth, and is commonly used in the United States and has been adopted by the American Dental Association. The permanent teeth are numbered from 1 to 32 and the primary teeth are labelled A to T using upper case letters (an alternative system labels them 1d to 20d). The designations ‘left’ and ‘right’ on the chart correspond to the patient's left and right, respectively; however, the orientation of the chart is traditionally ‘patient's view’, i.e. patient's right corresponds to notation-chart right.
Palmer tooth notation system
Primary teeth (deciduous teeth)
FDI tooth notation system