Caption: Human tooth fractured enamel. Shown here is a fracture in a tooth revealing the enamel rod morphology. Tooth enamel is the highly mineralized covering of the crown of a tooth (the crown is the part of the tooth that projects above the gums). Enamel is the hardest and most highly mineralized substance of the body. Along with dentin, cementum, and dental pulp it is one of the four major tissues which make up the tooth. Ninety-six percent of enamel consists of mineral, with water and organic material composing the rest. Enamel is an extremely hard, translucent substance composed of parallel rods (or prisms) of highly calcified material cemented together by an equally hard, calcified substance. The basic unit of enamel is called an enamel rod or enamel prism which is a tightly packed mass of hydroxylapatite crystals (also called hydroxyapatite crystals) in an organized pattern. The rods / prisms are arranged perpendicular to the surface of the enamel. Enamel's primary mineral is hydroxylapatite, which is a crystalline calcium phosphate. Also enamel has two unique classes of proteins called amelogenins and enamelins.
Magnification*: x400
Type: SEM
Copyright 2008 Dennis Kunkel Microscopy, Inc.
Keywords: 22288B,medical,tooth,human,enamel,SEM,09.01.08,teeth,human body,human tooth,tooth surface,dental enamel,teeth enamel,tooth enamel,human teeth,calcium phosphate,hydroxylapatite crystal,hydroxylapatite crystals,hydroxyapatite crystal,hydroxyapatite crystals,enamel rod,enamel rods,enamel prism,enamel prisms,amelogenin,amelogenins,enamelins,enamelin,mineral,crown enamel,fractured tooth,cracked tooth,enamel surface