Definition of dental formula in US English:

dental formula


  • A formula expressing the number and kinds of teeth possessed by a mammal. A dental formula is usually written in the form of four “fractions,” one for each type of tooth, with the upper and lower lines describing the upper and lower jaws respectively.

    • ‘The dental formula of tapirs is similar to that of the equids.’
    • ‘Ellis claimed that the two populations could be separated based on slight differences of their respective dental formulae.’
    • ‘Tooth extractions, though offering a solution to the discomfort and agony caused by tooth decay, can lead to a distortion in the dental formula due to loss of teeth in the mouth and it can cause difficulties in chewing soluble food.’
    • ‘Diet (where known) and dental formula were also taken into account.’
    • ‘Their dental formulae and molar shape vary considerably among species.’