Enamel Histology of the Teeth

Enamel content is almost 100% mineral, so it evades histologic evaluation in common paraffin sections from decalcified material. Only in immature tooth tissues, may it be seen in routinely prepared histologic slides due to a still higher proportion of organic components, where it is visible as a slightly basophilic the ready material. In this form, it may also form part of the histologic appearance of odontogenic tumours.

Examination of mature enamel requires the employment of ground sections. In transmitted 
light, incremental lines can be seen in the enamel lying more or less parallel to the crown surface and the dentino-enamel junction, the so-called striae of Retzius. In reflected light, alternating light and dark bands that run perpendicular to the dentino-enamel junction can be observed. 

These so-called Hunter-Schreger bands are an optical phenomenon caused by different directions 
of the rods that form the building stones of the enamel. These rods have on transverse sectioning the outline of a keyhole. Through interlocking of these rods, a compact structure is formed. Each rod is formed by four ameloblasts. 
Te rods are responsible for the striated appearance that immature enamel matrix shows in de-
calcified paraffin sections.

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Hi Gina,I’m afraid my knlwoedge as far as non UK dental students goes, is rather limited so I cannot give you a specific answer.I can, however, advise you to try contacting the General Dental Council (GDC), the British Dental Association (BDA) and the National Examining Board for Dental Nurses (NEBDN), I am sure that between them, they will be able to answer all of your questions!Katy.

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Articles for theme “Histology”:
Teeth consist for the major part of dentin. This material houses the dental pulp, the soft tissue core of the tooth consisting of myxoid connective tissue with blood vessels and nerves, and supports the enamel cap that covers the part of the tooth that is exposed to the oral cavity. In the root area, dentin is covered by cementum that fixes the collagenous fibres of the periodontal ligament onto the root surface. At the other side, these collagenus fibres are attached to the bone of the tooth socket and in this way, the tooth is fixed in  the jaw.
Dentin Histology of the Teeth
Dentin is a specialized kind of bone formed by the odontoblasts but different in the sense that it does not contain complete cells but only cellular extensions, i.e., cytoplasmic extensions from the odontoblasts. These cross the full thickness of the dentin from the odontoblastic cell body that lies at the border between dentin and dental pulp to the junction between dentin and enamel. The tiny canals that house the odontoblastic extensions are recognizable as evenly spaced tubuli. This tubular nature is the histologic hallmark for dentin, not only in teeth but also in odontogenic lesions in which the nature of each mineralized material may not be recognizable at first sight.