With all the abuse most people direct at their teeth, it's amazing that teeth are as resilient as they are. You may not be aware of it, but a tooth is truly a miracle of engineering, and that is what enables teeth to do their thing from birth to the grave, unless you're in the unfortunate position of having your teeth quit on you.
Are your teeth the same as your bones?
You may think that teeth are just specially adapted bones, but in fact teeth and bones are quite different, and they're not even made from the same protein. The protein that forms bones is primarily collagen, which is the same protein that creates your skin. However, teeth are initially formed with keratin, which is the same protein that makes hair. It's hard to imagine that teeth are more similar to hair than to bones, but there you go.
What are Primary Teeth and Secondary Teeth?
Primary teeth (or “milk teeth”) are not really very impressive. They are formed in the sixth week of pregnancy and calcify rapidly. Calcification is a process where dental pulp, which is a soft spongy tissue in the core of a tooth, binds with calcium to form enamel. In the case of primary teeth, the entire mass of pulp is converted to enamel. There are no nerves in these teeth and they don't require a blood supply. Their sole purpose seems to be to allow time for the secondary teeth to enjoy six to eight years of protection before they're called into action.
Secondary teeth are formed at around the 20th week of pregnancy and are much slower in their development in every way, but they are also much more complex. These teeth contain nerves and blood vessels, and have a living mass of pulp in their core which slowly creates enamel from the nutrients in the blood supply. Unfortunately a little too slowly, in many cases.
Dental Veneers and Unhealthy Teeth
A healthy tooth looks perfectly smooth to the naked eye. When a tooth begins showing visible grooves, ridges, or porosity, that's a sign of imminent decay which, if left untreated, will probably lead to serious and painful dental problems.
One technology that can help, and which also covers up the unsightly appearance of stained and grooved teeth, is the dental veneer. These are made from either composite material or porcelain, and fit over the natural enamel surface of a tooth.
With dental veneers, people need no longer reveal the consequences of their mistakes of the past that led to possessing unsightly stained and damaged teeth. Veneers effectively cover the evidence and provide a rejuvenated appearance.
Unlike more serious dental procedures such as getting implants or dentures, having veneers fitted is a relatively simple procedure that can be completed quickly and at low cost. Whereas implants require the extraction of the natural tooth and major surgery to embed the implant, followed by a lengthy period of healing, veneers can be fitted in a day and patients won't normally experience any significant degree of discomfort.
Dental veneers help you keep your natural teeth and preserve what's left of them, while also improving your smile and boosting your confidence.