You use your teeth every day to help you eat and speak. However, do you really know how they work? Before your next visit to your dentist, take a look at this brief guide to better understand your dental anatomy:
Enamel covers the visible portion of the tooth and serves as a shield, protecting the portions beneath. Dentin makes up the bulk of the tooth. It is similar to bone in composition. Cementum is the material covering the bottom portion of the tooth. Pulp is the collection of blood vessels and nerves at the center.
There are several parts to the supporting tissue of each tooth. Gingiva, or the gums, is the soft tissue covering the root of each tooth. The periodontal membrane connects the tooth and alveolar bone, essentially holding the tooth in its socket. The cementum connects the periodontal membrane to the hard structure of the tooth, providing support.
Many adults have 32 teeth, including their wisdom teeth. Starting from the center of the mouth, the teeth are the central incisor, lateral incisor, canine or sharp cusp, first and second premolars, and first, second, and third molars. The upper jaw is called maxillary, and the bottom jaw is called mandibular. The front six teeth of both the upper and lower jaw are anterior, and the teeth behind those are posterior.
Alignment and Orientation
Teeth do not sit perfectly on top of one another. Though they vary somewhat with each person, generally anterior teeth are at angles facing forward, posterior maxillary are angled outward, and posterior mandibular are angled inward. Each tooth serves a specific function in the biting and chewing of food.
Now that you understand your dental anatomy, call Lenox Village Dentistry at (615) 832-2095 to schedule a routine dental exam. We offer a variety of services and procedures, including cleanings, restorations, implants, and tooth extractions. Our dentists use the latest technology and techniques to provide quality dental care in Nashville.