What are the parts of a tooth?

Jonathan B. Levine, DMD
A tooth is divided into three parts.
  • The root, which is the foundation of the tooth. It’s hidden below the gum line.
  • The cementum, which is the layer of bone-like tissue that covers the outer surface of the root.
  • The crown, which is the majority of the tooth and the part that’s visible.
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A tooth is composed of four dental tissues: enamel, dentin and cementum, which are hard or calcified, and pulp, which is soft or noncalcified. The visible part of the tooth is called the crown. It is made of enamel, an extremely hard, non-living substance. Because it contains no living cells, tooth enamel cannot repair damage from decay or from wear. Only a dentist can correct these conditions.
  • Enamel -- Hard calcified tissue covering dentin of the crown of tooth.
  • Anatomical Crown -- That portion of tooth normally covered by, and including, enamel.
  • Gingiva (gums) -- Soft tissues overlying the crowns of unerupted teeth and encircling the necks of those that have erupted.
  • Pulp Chamber -- The space occupied by the pulp.
  • Neck -- The area where the crown joins the root.
  • Dentin -- That part of the tooth that is beneath enamel and cementum.
  • Alveolar Bone (jawbone) -- The part of the jaw that surround the roots of the teeth.
  • Root Canal -- The portion of the pulp cavity inside the root of a tooth; the chamber within the root of the tooth that contains the pulp.
  • Cementum -- Hard connective tissue covering the tooth root, giving attachment to the periodontal ligament.
  • Periodontal Ligament -- A system of collagenous connective tissue fibers that connect the root of a tooth to its alveolus.

If you've ever wondered about the parts of the tooth, watch this video to see Dr. Maria Lopez Howell explain what each part is called and how it functions.

The top part of the tooth is the crown. This is the part that is visible in your mouth. The bottom part of the tooth is the root. A tooth is composed of the outer layer of the crown called enamel, the middle layer called dentin, and the inside layer called the pulp. The pulp contains the nerves and blood vessels for the tooth. The outer layer of the root is the called the cementum. 

The different parts of a tooth are:
  • the crown, which is the part you can see above the gum line
  • the neck, where the crown meets the root
  • the root, which is the part that extends into the jawbone
  • the enamel, which is the shell that covers the visible part of the tooth
  • the cementum, which covers the roots
  • the dentin, a bone-like substance which makes up most of the tooth
  • the pulp and pulp cavity, which contains the blood vessels.
The structure of a tooth is as follows:
  • The crown is the hard part of the tooth that you can see. It is made of enamel.
  • The neck is where the tooth and the gum come together.
  • The root is embedded in bone and contains blood vessels and nerves.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.