Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Premolar

One of four types of teeth found in heterodont mammals. Premolars are double-cusped teeth, located behind the canines, that are used for shearing and grinding. According to some researchers these are the two most distal teeth in the human deciduous dentition; others think that the deciduous dentition contains molars rather than premolars. Because they have two cusps, premolars are referred to in dentistry as bicuspid teeth. Upper premolars tend to have two roots, although these two roots may fuse to appear as one with a groove down the center; lower premolars have one root.

See incisor, canine, and molar.

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