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Take a Closer Look at Your Teeth and How We Repair Them

DO YOU KNOW what the parts of the human tooth are? We’d like to give you a quick tooth anatomy lesson because the more patients know about their teeth, the better they will understand the importance of good dental health habits like brushing, flossing, and avoiding sugary treats. Your South San Francisco dentists and specialists can repair every part of your teeth. This guide will also help you understand why they prescribe certain treatments to restore your smile. We’ll start in the crown and work our way down to the roots.

The Three Layers of the Dental Crown

Everything visible of a tooth above the gums is the crown, and it consists of three layers. Let’s take a closer look at each one and what services we have to repair


The outermost layer of the tooth is the enamel layer. Tooth enamel is mostly composed of inorganic hydroxyapatite crystals, which make it the hardest substance in the entire body. We need it to be that way so that we can chew a lifetime’s worth of food!

However, because it’s inorganic, enamel can’t repair or replace itself if it is eroded or damaged too much. It’s also extremely vulnerable to acid. That’s why brushing, flossing, cutting back on acidic and sugary foods and drinks, and regular professional cleanings are so important!

Treatment: If you've lost significant enamel to decay or if it's damaged, or if you're just unhappy with the way they look, we can restore your enamel with natural-looking fillings, crowns and veneers. Made with super strong materials, they can look and feel just like your natural enamel. If you have severe dental fear or anxiety, we also have sedation options to make you feel more comfortable.


The next layer of the crown is the dentin, which is very similar to bone. It’s more yellowish than enamel and there’s more of it in adult teeth than baby teeth (if you’ve noticed that brand new adult teeth seem more yellow than baby teeth, that’s why). Microscopic tubules run through the dentin so that the nerves in the center of the tooth can detect temperature changes. When the enamel erodes, these become exposed and cause tooth sensitivity.