Preserving Tooth Structure: Why Is It So Important?

Tooth Structure 101

Whilst we can all be grateful to technology and the significant advances in the dental industry, there are a number of ways to replace or restore your natural teeth if required. Typically, this will mean you will undergo dental treatment for dental crowns, implants or veneers. The vast array of benefits with respect to preserving tooth structure account for more than simply cosmetics to positively impact your overall health. Your teeth are in fact part of an intricate group of bones, tissues, and nerves that together, make up a complex structure. 

To illustrate, and to provide a comprehensive understanding, each of your teeth are comprised of the following components:

Gums: Gums house the teeth and protect a tooth’s roots and any teeth that have yet to break through.

Crown: The top, visible part of a tooth.

Enamel: Enamel is the substance that covers and protects all teeth. Enamel is the hardest substance in the human body. Since it doesn’t regenerate, preventing tooth decay is critical to keep the enamel intact.

Pulp chamber: The space inside of a tooth that houses the blood vessels, nerves, and connective tissue.

Root canal: The canal provides a passageway for nerves and blood vessels.

Root: The portion of the tooth that’s located in the bone socket.

Neck: This area connects the crown and the root.

Cementum: A hard connective tissue that covers a tooth’s root.

Dentin: A layer of material that lies immediately under the enamel of the tooth. When enamel is worn away from a tooth, the dentin becomes vulnerable to sensitivity. 

Alveolar bone: The alveolar bone is the portion of the jaw that encompasses the roots of the teeth.

Periodontal ligament: A tooth’s root is connected to its socket by these tissue fibers.

As you can see, there is more to our teeth that meets the eye, which is why we need to treat them with utmost respect in order to preserve as much of our natural tooth structure as we can. 

In addition to avoiding the time and money associated with extensive dental work, protecting tooth structure also contributes to the quality and effectiveness of our bone health, speech, and appearance.

Maintaining Healthy Oral Care

As a rule of thumb, the longer the natural tooth structure is preserved within the oral cavity, the easier it is for the jaw to maintain a healthy bone level. Natural teeth, held in place by the upper and lower jawbones, virtually work with the alveolar bone. Tooth roots are planted within the alveolar, which reduces bone loss and keeps our teeth in a more stable position. 

Ensuring we maintain a healthy level of bone within the entire jaw reduces our risk of developing periodontal disease. As disease-causing bacteria tends to live deep within the alveolar bone and cause further destruction of the teeth, this is specifically important for us to consider.

In addition to supporting the function and state of our  jaw structure, it is also in our best interests to preserve our natural enamel as much as possible. Whilst restoration materials and procedures performed at Coolangatta Dental Group can support you on whatever dental journey you are on, the ultimate goal is to try and preserve our natural teeth as much as we can through quality and consistent oral hygiene. 

If you’re looking for support regarding your dental needs, or the needs of your family, get in touch today or book an appointment online. Our team will be happy to help you select the best option for your unique situation.