Parts of a Tooth

Dental team members should be familiar with the parts of a tooth. Study the image.

  • ENAMEL

    The outermost layer of the tooth. Enamel is the hardest, most mineralized tissue in the body ¬ó yet it can be damaged by decay if teeth are not cared for properly.

  • DENTIN

    The layer of the tooth under the enamel. If decay is able to progress its way through the enamel, it next attacks the dentin where millions of tiny tubes lead directly to the dental pulp.  

  • PULP

    The soft tissue found in the center of all teeth, where the nerve tissue and blood vessels are. If tooth decay reaches the pulp, you usually feel pain.  

  • CROWN

    The top part of the tooth, and the only part you can normally see. The shape of the crown determines the tooth's function. For example, front teeth are sharp and chisel-shaped for cutting, while molars have flat surfaces for grinding.  

  • ROOT

    The part of the tooth that is embedded in bone. The root makes up about two-thirds of the tooth and holds the tooth in place.

  • CEMENTUM

    The mineralized connective tissue resembling bone, that covers the roots of teeth and serves to anchor gingival and periodontal fibers.

  • PERIODONTAL MEMBRANE

    The fibrous connective-tissue layer covering the cementum of a tooth and holding it in place in the jawbone.