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From Latin: dentinum
Synonyms: dentin (American English), substantia eburnea
German: Dentin

1 Definition

Dentine builds the main body of the tooth. It has a brinell hardness of 60-70 (HB). Dentine is covered by dental enamel on the side of the oral cavity and by cementum on the bone-side. It fulfills the function of a soft body, under the stiff shell of dental enamel. Due to this dual system, the tooth is able to handle impacts like the chewing process, or traumas, more easily.

2 Chemical structure

  • Anorganic substances (Apatite) 70 (wt%)
  • Organic matrix 20 - 25 (wt%) (95-98% collagen type 1)
  • Water 5-10 (wt%)

3 Structure

3.1 Mantle dentine

The outer layer of the dentine is called mantle dentine. Its thickness differs from 15-30 micrometers near the crown, to 5-10 micrometers near the root. Here the extensions of the odontoblasts are more likely to branch out and the chemical structure exhibits more collagen and less mineralization. In the area of the root, there is the granular layer of dentine. Some hypomineralizations with unclear origin.

3.2 Inner dentine

The inner dentine builds the main mass of the dentine. Since the mineralization proceeds in phases, dental incremental lines occur. Peritubular dentine wraps around the dentinal tubule and interglobular dentine (hypomineralized areas) fills the space between the peritubular dentine.

3.3 Odontoblasts

Odontoblasts are cells, inside of the pulp. They extend vertical into the dentine through dentinal tubules, reaching out to the dental enamel. The extensions are called Tomes’ fibers. Their diameter varies from 1 micrometer to 2 micrometers.

3.4 Predentine

The predentine is 5-20 micrometers thick and covers the odontoblasts. It is secreted by the odontoblasts towards the dentine side and consists of not yet mineralized collagen. While there is more and more predentine synthesized, the pulp obliterates as years go by.

3.5 Secondary dentine

Secondary dentine is produced as years go by. This process is physiological.

3.6 Tertiary dentine

Tertiary dentine is produced as response to irritations like caries, abrasion, tooth preparation, etc.

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