Roll Call: Thirty-Two White Horses on a Red Field. The Advantages of the FDI Two-Digit System of Designating Teeth

  • Kurt W. Alt
  • Jens C. Türp


Every scientific field evolves its own terminology to accomodate (more or less) its particular interests and requirements (Swales 1990). In order to facilitate a dialog within and among disciplines, it is necessary to use an accepted nomenclature as well as standardized abbreviations and signs. Nonetheless, an “officially” implemented nomenclature is not always recognized by all members of the scientific community. This leads to the unsatisfying situation wherein several different terminologies are in parallel use, thus often causing misunderstandings. In anatomy, for example, a standard Latin nomenclature was compiled for the first time in 1895 (Baseler Anatomische Nomenklatur [Basle Nomina Anatomica, B.N.A.]). In an attempt to improve upon the B.N.A., the Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland presented a Birmingham Revision in 1933 (in Latin and English), which had been widely used in the English-speaking world, while the German Anatomical Society (Deutsche Anatomische Gesellschaft) adopted its own revision in 1935 (in Latin) which became known as the Jena Nomina Anatomica (J.N.A.) (Kopsch 1941).


Permanent Tooth Central Incisor Lateral Incisor Dental Arch Roman Numeral 
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© Springer-Verlag/Wien 1998

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  • Kurt W. Alt
  • Jens C. Türp

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