The Anatomy of Teeth and Dental Implants

woman smilingDental implants are designed to replace natural teeth, but the implant process is confusing for many patients. If you’re wondering how dental implants work, you must first understand the anatomy of your teeth.

The Anatomy of Teeth

By early adulthood, most people have 32 permanent teeth (this includes 4 wisdom teeth). Your teeth have three separate layers:

  1. Pulp: The pulp is the center of your tooth. It’s made of connective tissue—mostly nerves and blood vessels.
  2. Dentin: The middle layer is called “dentin.” This is the largest part of your tooth, and it’s a lot like bone.
  3. Enamel: The outer layer of the tooth is the enamel. This layer is hard, which helps protect the dentin and pulp layers.

Teeth also have roots, which are covered by cementum, a hard substance that protects the root.

The Types of Teeth

Each person has four types of teeth. These include:

  • Incisors: These teeth are front and center. You have four on top and four on the bottom.
  • Canines: These teeth are pointy and located next to the incisors. There are two on top and two on the bottom.
  • Premolars: Your premolars are next to your canines. You have eight total.
  • Molars: Most people have 12 molars and they’re located behind your premolars. If you’ve had your wisdom teeth removed, you probably only have 8 molars.

The Anatomy of Dental Implants

A dental implant also has three parts, though these parts aren’t the same as a natural tooth.

They include:

  1. The implant: The implant is made of titanium and connects to the jawbone, similar to a tooth’s root.
  2. The abutment: The abutment connects the implant to the restoration of the dental implant.
  3. The restoration: The restoration is the part of the implant you can see. 

There are three types of restoration, too.

  • A crown is used to replace one tooth (or sometimes two teeth).
  • An implant-supported bridge replaces multiple teeth.
  • An implant-supported denture also replaces multiple teeth and is used when a bridge won’t work for various reasons.

Find an Oral Surgeon in Stillwater, OK

Central Oklahoma Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Associates specializes in dental implants. If you’re considering a dental implant or have questions about your existing implant, please make an appointment at one of our convenient locations. We’re happy to provide a personal consultation and discuss your dental implant options.

Content found on this blog is intended for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional judgement, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please speak with a professional if you have concerns about your oral health.

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