Crest of Contour (Curvature)

Location of the Crest of Curvature

The crest of curvature (also called the crest of contour) is defined as the widest area of the crown of the tooth when viewed from the facial (lingual) or proximal (mesial or distal). Each tooth has a distinct location for the crest of curvature and it is based on the crown divided into thirds (ie. cervical, middle, incisal or occlusal thirds). The crest of curvature is synonymous with the contact area only when teeth are in perfect alignment. When teeth are not in perfect alignment, the contact area will not correspond to the crest of curvature.

Extent of the Crest of Curvature

The extent of the crest of curvature describes how bulbous a tooth is on either its facial or lingual surface. The teeth with the least amount are the mandibular incisors. The greatest extent of the crests of curvature are found on the lingual surfaces of the secondary mandibular molars. The locations and extents of the crest of curvature for each tooth will be described in detail in subsequent chapters.



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