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Teeth and Dental Anatomy

Development of Teeth

Development of teeth begins in utero and continues until around age 18-25 Narrow Plate Illustration when all teeth, crown and roots have finished developing.  Generally, children are born with 20 primary teeth that fall out in childhood and are replaced by 28 permanent teeth. Wisdom teeth (or third molars), which can grow on both the top and bottom jaw, sometimes also develop so the total number of teeth may be 32. Whether or not wisdom teeth develop depends on genetic factors and they are usually the last teeth to develop, normally appearing in late adolescence or early adulthood.

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Teeth & Dental Anatomy

There are five stages of tooth development or odontogenesis: the initiation stage, the bud stage, the cap stage, the bell stage and maturation. For primary teeth, the initiation stage occurs in utero, between 6 and 7 weeks of embryonic development, when dental lamina starts to form in the embryo’s primitive mouth. By week 20 in utero, the foundations for permanent teeth begin to form as well. In the bud stage, the tooth bud, a collection of cells at the end of the dental lamina, is formed. In the cap stage, the cells are arranged in the tooth bud and enamel, dentin and pulp start to form. In the bell stage, the tooth continues to develop, and the dental lamina disintegrates, leaving the tooth separated from the oral cavity. Once the tooth and roots have matured, the tooth will erupt into the mouth and become visible.

Anatomy of a Tooth 

The outer, visible, part of the tooth is covered in enamel which is a hard Healthy Tooth Illustrations and durable compound. Underneath the enamel is dentin and with the dentin is pulp which is softer and contains blood vessels and nerves. Towards the bottom of the tooth is cementum which the connective tissue that binds roots of the teeth with the gums and jaw. The periodontal ligament helps to hold the tooth tightly to the jaw.

Dental Problems

There are many disorders of the teeth. Poor dental hygiene can lead to cavities, tooth decay, gingivitis and periodontitis. Bruxism, or teeth grinding, can cause the enamel of the tooth to be worn away and can lead to jaw problems. It is usually caused by stress or sleeping disorders.

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Teeth & Dental Anatomy