Have you ever stopped to wonder what makes up a tooth? At Artisan Dental, our dentists receive these questions every week from adults and children who visit our dental facility. Each part of a tooth has unique functions and properties, and in this blog, we’ll take a closer look at the anatomy of a tooth so you have an understanding of each part.

If you live near Burke or Chevy Chase and you’re looking for a trustworthy and dependable dentist, contact the professionals at Artisan Dental today. We take a comprehensive approach to understanding your oral health, and we do everything we can to educate our patients on the best treatment options available. From general dentistry to cosmetic dentistry and beyond, we’re confident that we can assist you with all of your dental needs.

Tooth Enamel

Tooth enamel is a protective barrier that surrounds the visible part of a tooth. Composed of strong and sturdy minerals, including calcium phosphate, tooth enamel is known to be the hardest substance in the human body. When your tooth enamel is strong and healthy, it is resistant to cavity-causing bacteria like plaque. Since enamel is composed of a mineral composition, it is translucent, which can make it difficult to identify. Luckily, tooth enamel can be strengthened with fluoride, which is a common mineral found in most toothpastes.


Dentin can be found underneath the enamel surface of the tooth, as well as below the cementum that is formed along your tooth’s roots. Composed of living cellular material and tissue, dentin is what makes up a majority of your tooth’s structure. This bone-like substance contains microscopic tubules, and unlike enamel, can be highly susceptible to bacteria that causes dental cavities and tooth sensitivity.


Cementum is a unique coating that surrounds the roots of your teeth. It is often compared to enamel, but is much softer. Cementum assists with root stability by attaching itself to the fibers that anchor your tooth to the jawbone.

Pulp Canals

Located just inside a tooth’s hollow chamber is what is known as the pulp canal. This area of a tooth is mostly responsible for providing blood flow and nutrients to the tooth. When this area becomes damaged or is infected from extensive decay or trauma, a root canal treatment is often necessary to save the tooth from dental extraction.


The roots of your teeth are critical to your oral health. Similar to how the roots of a tree help anchor it to the ground, your tooth’s roots help anchor your pearly whites to your jawbone. This allows your teeth to withstand the force of biting and chewing food on a regular basis.

As you can see, each part of a tooth serves a specific function and purpose. If you’re looking for a family dentist in Virginia, be sure to contact the qualified team at Artisan Dental. We offer two convenient locations in Burke and Chevy Chase, and we would love to help you remedy any dental issues you may have. Call us today to schedule an appointment!