Tooth decay and implants, dental model

Tooth decay and implants, dental model

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Credit: CHRIS KNAPTON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Tooth decay and implants, dental model. Close-up of four teeth in the left lower jaw of a human. This model has transparent gums, showing the roots of the teeth. From far right, the teeth and their conditions are: first molar (cracked; tooth decay, black; infected root and inflamed nerve pulp, red), second pre-molar (filled with a dental metallic-looking filling), first pre-molar (has been replaced with a screw-based implant), canine (healthy). Tooth decay is caused by acid-secreting bacteria feeding on food debris in the mouth. The infected area can be drilled out and filled, or the tooth can be replaced completely.

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