What You Need to Know About Your Teeth

Our teeth are composed of four dental tissues. Three out four of these are hard tissues; these are enamel, dentin, and cementum. The fourth tissue which is pulp, or the central part of the tooth which has nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue is classified as soft/non-calcified tissue.

The Basics of Tooth Anatomywhite flower petals on white textile

  • Enamel

    • This is the hard calcified tissue covering the dentin in the crown of tooth. Enamel does not contain any living cells, so tooth enamel cannot repair damage caused by decay or wear. Only a dentist can help in correcting these conditions.
  • Anatomical Crown

    • This is the visible part of your tooth. Normally, it is protected by enamel.
  • Gums (also referred to as gingiva)

    • These are the soft tissues that cover and protect the roots of your teeth and cover teeth that are yet to appear.
  • Pulp Chamber

    • This is the space occupied by the pulp, which is the soft tissue at the center of your teeth containing nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue.
  • Neck

    • This is the area where the crown joins the root.
  • Dentin

    • A part of the tooth that is below enamel and cementum. Dentin contains microscopic tubules (small hollow tubes or canals). When it loses its protective covering (enamel), the tubules then allow heat and cold or acidic or sticky foods to stimulate the nerves and cells inside the tooth which can cause sensitivity.
  • Jawbone or Alveolar Bone

    • The part of the jaw that surrounding the roots of the teeth.
  • Root Canal

    • This is the portion of the pulp cavity inside the root of a tooth; the chamber within the root of the tooth that contains the pulp.
  • Cementum

    • A hard connective tissue covering the tooth root, giving attachment to the periodontal ligament.
  • Periodontal Ligament

    • A system of collagenous connective tissue fibers that link the root of a tooth to its socket.

Important Tips When Choosing a Dentist

Dental care is a very personalized service that demands a positive relationship between the dentist and the patient.  So before making a decision, you may want to call or visit multiple dental care providers. During your first visit, you should be able to determine if this is the right dentist for you. Here are questions you should ask yourself before deciding if he/she is the right dentist for you:

  • Is the appointment schedule conducive for you?
  • Is it easy to get to the dental clinic from your home or work?
  • Was your medical and dental history recorded and stored in a permanent file?
  • Does the dentist take their time in explaining techniques that will help you prevent dental health problems? Is dental health instruction provided clearly?
  • Does the dentist allow special arrangements made for handling emergencies outside of office hours?
  • Do they provide you information about fees and payment plans before treatment is scheduled?
  • More tips posted on: 3 Easy Steps in Choosing a Cosmetic Dentist

You and your dentist are partners in caring for your oral health. Take your time in asking questions and take notes so you can remember your dentist’s advice. Above all, you should choose a dentist who can take great care of you and eventually, become a part of your total health care team.

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