Understanding a Tooth's Anatomy

Unless you have a problem, you probably take your teeth for granted. They’re there for you for biting, chewing, and speaking, day in and day out, doing their job without much fuss. It’s also easy to dismiss the structure of your teeth, since they seem like 32 (36 counting wisdom teeth) self-contained, hard little monoliths.

However, there’s plenty going on under the surface of your teeth. Protecting the inner elements of your tooth anatomy is central to effective dental care, both at home and at the dentist’s office. Doing your best to protect your smile means you may never have to visit Dental Care By Design, specialists in cosmetic and emergency dentistry, except for routine checkups. But Dr. Larry Adams and his team stand by in case you need special attention.

Knowing about the hidden secrets within your teeth may give you a new appreciation for the jobs they do, as well as helping you understand your role in the oral care process.

The four types of teeth

Perhaps the easiest thing to recognize about tooth anatomy is that they come in different shapes, with each shape playing a different role.

The four dental tissues

Each of the four types of teeth have four component tissues. You’re most familiar with the enamel, the hard, outer covering visible above the gum line. The enamel extends down to the cementum, the outer covering of the tooth’s root, below the gum line.

Behind the enamel and cementum is the dentin. It, too, is a hard substance, though not as hard as enamel. Dentin serves as the filler of your teeth, surrounding the central pulp chamber and root canal. This is where a collection of soft tissues resides. Called the pulp, it comprises blood vessels, connective tissue, and nerves. Whenever you have a root canal procedure, you’ll have this soft tissue removed and replaced with an inert material.

The body of a tooth

Each tooth divides into three general regions. The crown describes the part of the tooth you can see above the gum line. The smallest region is the neck, where the thicker enamel ends, and the thinner cementum starts. The root comprises about two-thirds of the length of the tooth, reaching from the top of the jawbone down to the bottom tip of the tooth, entirely encased in bone. The root secures your tooth into your jaw.

Keeping your smile in shape requires diligent home care and regular dental maintenance visits. Even then, you may have cosmetic concerns about the way your teeth look, or need emergency dental care for a broken or cracked tooth. Contact Dental Care By Design at 360-207-4992 or request an appointment online using the convenient link. Your best smile is never far away.

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