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The Anatomy Of A Tooth


You spend a lot of time and money taking good care of your family’s teeth. Do you know exactly what you are caring for? In other words, do you understand the anatomy of a tooth? Knowing tooth anatomy can be beneficial just as knowing the anatomy of your body comes in handy time and time again. Knowing tooth anatomy can help you understand why you take the steps you do to keep them healthy. Read on to learn about the anatomy of a tooth.  

The Layers of a Tooth

From the outside in, a tooth consists of the enamel or cementum, the dentin, and the pulp:

Tooth Enamel: Enamel is the thin, clear, shiny coat that covers the crown of your tooth. It is a mineral substance harder than bone that helps protect your teeth from decay.

Cementum: The root of the tooth is not protected by enamel.  It is covered with cementum and then gum tissue. Cementum is a specialized, calcified substance that is softer than dentin. Therefore, if the root becomes exposed due to receding gums, it can be sensitive to heat and cold, and vulnerable to decay.

Dentin: The layer under the tooth enamel but which surrounds the pulp of your tooth is called dentin. It is softer than enamel but not as soft as the pulp of your tooth. The dentin is the majority of your tooth structure and consists of microscopic tubules containing fluid. If tooth decay passes through the enamel layer, these fluid filled tubules can increase the rate of decay, and the sensation of pain.

Tooth Pulp: The pulp of your tooth is the softest part of the tooth and the live nerve center. It consists of connective tissue, blood vessels, and nerves, and is commonly referred to as “the nerve” of the tooth because of its extremely sensitivity.

The Crown and Root

Crown: The crown of the tooth is the part of the tooth above the gumline.

Root: The root of the tooth is located in the gum and seated in the jawbone. Held in place by periodontal ligaments and gum tissue you cannot see the root of the tooth.


Dr. Vi Mai and the caring staff at Mai Dentistry are dedicated to ensuring that our patients are proud of their beautiful, healthy smiles. With years of experience in general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry, we can expertly diagnose and treat early dental trouble to preserve your natural tooth structure. To learn more, or to schedule your next appointment, call us today at (972) 530-0552.

Dr. Mai and her team provide excellent patient care to prevent dental conditions from developing. We monitor your smile with checkups and regular cleanings incorporating advanced technology.
To treat and transform your smile, we can offer fillings and crowns to restore your smile to optimal health, function, and beauty.
We want to help your smile shine with professional teeth whitening, porcelain veneers, and one-visit bonding and contouring procedures.
Our advanced dental technology allows us to provide you with less-intrusive, more precise care.