Questions & Appointments   704-376-6470
201 Providence Road • Charlotte NC 28207 • Contact Us

Anatomy of a Tooth

Anatomy is the study of the structure of an organism and their structures. The anatomy of the tooth falls under the dental anatomy. Dental anatomy is dedicated to the study of a human tooth; it falls under its purview. This is a taxonomical science that is concerned with the naming of teeth and the structure that they are made of.

They are two types of teeth namely:

Primary teeth – Mostly known as milk teeth or baby teeth, they are the first set of teeth in diphyodont mammals and humans. Primary teeth develop during the embryonic stage they usually get lost after some years. It is the most important set of teeth especially on the growth of the oral cavity. Primary teeth can grow up to 20 teeth.

Permanent teeth – this is the teeth that grow after shedding out the milk/primary teeth. It grows into two types, maxilla, and mandible. Both are divided into two with 16 teeth. A mature person has 28 – 32 teeth

Tooth development is a complex process which the tooth forms from embryonic cells, grow and erupt into the mouth. It’s wise to note that even with different animal species teeth grow almost the same as with humans. There is a difference in the anatomy of the teeth development. The development will depend on the type of tooth. There are four types of teeth:

  • Incisors
  • The sharp, chisel-shaped front teeth (four uppers, four lower) used for cutting food.
  • Canines
  • Sometimes called cuspids; these teeth are shaped like points (cusps) and are used for tearing and grasping food.
  • Premolars
  • These teeth have two pointed cusps on their biting surface and are sometimes referred to as bicuspids. The premolars are for crushing and tearing food.
  • Molars
  • Used for grinding and chewing food, these teeth have several cusps on the biting surface to help in this process.

The anatomy of the tooth can be divided into two; the two are the visible white part and the root which is invisible. While developing a tooth has four tissues, and each does a different job.


  • Enamel
  • Enamel is the outer and hardest part of the tooth that has the most mineralized tissue in the body. It can be damaged by decay if teeth are not cared for properly.
  • Dentin
  • The layer of the tooth under the enamel. If decay makes it through the enamel, it next attacks the dentin — where millions of tiny tubes lead directly to the dental pulp.
  • Cementum.
  • Hard connective tissue covering the tooth root, giving attachment to the periodontal ligament.
  • Pulp
  • The soft tissue found in the center of all teeth, where the nerve tissue and blood vessels are located. If tooth decay reaches the pulp, you usually feel pain and may require a root canal procedure to be done.
  • Root
  • It is two-thirds of the tooth that is embedded in bone and serves as an anchor to hold the tooth in place.
  • Neck.
  • The area where the crown joins the root.
  • Jawbone (Alveolar Bone.)
  • The part of the jaw that surrounds the roots of the teeth.
  • Periodontal Ligament.
  • A system of collagenous connective tissue fibers that connect the root of a tooth to its socket.
Bring your whole family to one convenient location for all their dental needs.
…Treat Others As You Would Have Them Treat You … Matthew 7:12