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The Grand Design

Born through eons of evolution, and/or unseen design, the structure of the human tooth, as for the other parts of the human body, is so ingenious it teaches even the greatest materials engineer. For example, the structure of enamel, the outer covering of the tooth that is as hard as a crystal and the hardest part of the human body, is superbly adapted to its position in the mouth, a very harsh acidic environment in which the teeth are subject to extreme physical forces in chewing, yet last decades without a repair mechanism. The enamel is composed of rods of crystals which are aligned in parallel, yet some of the crystals are misaligned by varying degrees, the tiny pink areas in the microscopy below. What would be the purpose of this? In fact, this misalignment halts the propagation of cracking, as in the diagram below, thereby toughening the enamel against the impact of chewing. We try to preserve, at ProDentalFx, LLC, the integrity and function of the ‘grand design’ that constitutes your healthy mouth and teeth. (Source with permission: Nature Communications 10 https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-12185-7)

01-02-22 | 0 comments | in blog

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Dentist Dr. Marra Alcantara is a member of the Academy of General Dentistry. On their website is a trove of free dental information for the consumer.