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1) A hard, bone-like structure grown in the mouth of vertebrates. Teeth are composed of a soft center surrounded by hard dentin primarily composed of hydroxyapatite calcium hydroxyapatite with smaller amounts of carbonate calcium carbonate, fluoride calcium fluoride, phosphate magnesium phosphate, and ossein. The smooth outer surface is covered with hard, durable enamel. Animal teeth, such as from hippopotami, whales, lions, dogs, boars, and bears have been used to make gaming pieces, buttons, and jewelry. Once worked, it is difficult to tell teeth from tusks, ivory and even antler.

2) A textural description of a rough or absorbent surface.


Synonyms and Related Terms

1) teeth (plural); dent (Fr.); Zahn (Deut.); diente (Esp.); dente (It., Port.); Tnder (Sven.); tand (Dan., Ned.)

Other Properties

In cross section at high magnifications, teeth exhibit a honeycomb structure composed of interconnected horseshoe shapes


  • Hermann Kuhn, Hermann Kuhn, Conservation and Restoration of Works of Art and Antiquities, Butterworths, London, 1986
  • Oppi Untracht, Oppi Untracht, Jewelry Concepts and Technology, Doubleday & Co., Inc., New York City, 1985
  • A. MacGregor, A. MacGregor, Bone, Antler, Ivory, and Horn, Croom Helm, London, 1985

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