Learn the terminology the dentists use with our easy to follow pictorial guide.

This covers the outer surface of the tooth and is the hardest substance in the body.


This forms the bulk of the tooth underneath the enamel. It is more easily decayed than enamel and has small tubes running through it which connect with the nerve. With decay these tubes become exposed and hot / cold foods cause pain by travelling along the tubules towards the nerve.

The tooth is held inside the bone by the periodontal ligament, a elastic type joint which is inserted into the bone. The bone surrounding the tooth is called the alveolar bone and this disappears when a tooth is lost.
Inside the tooth is the Pulp , this contains the nerve and associated blood vessels . When we get toothache, it is usually the nerve here that is transmitting the pain.
The top surface of a tooth is called the occlusal surface. When we eat we bite on this part of the tooth. Molar teeth have valleys running along them which trap food and debris. Tooth decay tends to start in these areas as the bacteria collect in these grooves.
There are four different types of teeth in the adult mouth. Incisors at the front which cut food. Canines which are long and pointed which were used to grip and hold prey many thousands of years ago. Premolars and molars are used to grind the food up into a mush which can be more easily swallowed and digested.
The Human Skull

This diagram illustrates the structure over the skull and how the soft tissues overlay it.

The lower teeth are located in the mandible and the upper teeth are located in the maxilla.

The eye is located within the orbit.

The dental drill, a piece of equipment feared by many patients or the sound of it at least.

The drill is available in two forms;

The high speed or turbine which can spin at upto 300,000 rpm and uses water as a coolant. This uses diamond coated burs to cut hard substance like enamel or the metal of old crowns.