Book One -- The things that sustain and support the entire body, and what braces and attaches them all. [the bones and the ligaments that interconnect them] | Chapter 11 On The Teeth, Which are also counted as bones

Dental epiphyses

It must not be omitted that the teeth of children [dentes decidui] are based on incomplete, soft, and marrowlike roots [pulpa dentinalis], and likewise that the portion of children’s teeth visible outside the gums [corona clinica] is attached to the root like an epiphysis. 20 This in fact we learned even as children, 21 when we were accustomed to remove our loose


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teeth and those of our friends, particularly the incisors, with fingernails or a thread tied around the tooth. Indeed, in mules also and many dogs, we regularly see their epiphyses [corona dentis] fall off while the roots are retained. Finally, the greatest care must be taken never to remove the remainder of a child’s tooth that has been accidentally broken, but only the epiphysis, in whose place another [dens permanens] (provided the root be saved) will quickly grow up. It is also highly advisable to notice this too in children, in whom the molars tend to erode and weaken at an early age. In such cases it is worthwhile to extract the epiphyses of the molars (which are not as likely to fall out as those of incisors) so that new ones may grow in their place and the teeth may be preserved whole. For if the fusion of the epiphyses is strengthened with the progress of age, the epiphysis will never fall out; indeed, even by the time of puberty some teeth often have to be extracted root and all because of the damage of decay. 22



Book One -- The things that sustain and support the entire body, and what braces and attaches them all. [the bones and the ligaments that interconnect them] | Chapter 11 On The Teeth, Which are also counted as bones