The cementodentinal junction is the part of the tooth where two protective layers called the cementum and dentin meet. Each of these substances plays an important part in protecting different areas of the tooth and keeping it healthy over time. Dentin is the substance that sits just under enamel below the surface of the tooth. Cementum is a calcified substance which protects the root of the tooth. Typically, the area between cementum and dentin is called the intermediate cementum layer or zone.
Where is the cementodentinal junction located?
The precise location of the CDJ can be hard to pinpoint without dental expertise. The cementodentinal junction usually occurs deep under the surface of the tooth and is therefore not visible to the naked eye, and sometimes is not even evident on x-rays. In fact, a dentist may have to spend some time finding the CDJ in each tooth unless he or she uses technology to help, as the position of the CDJ can vary quite a bit between individual teeth in the same mouth. The cementodentinal junction is also known as the part of the tooth where the pulp tissue is divided from the periodontal ligament, the fibers that keep a tooth in place and anchored to the bone.
Why is the cementodentinal junction significant?
The area around the cementodentinal junction can become significant in the case of a root canal to remove damaged or dead pulp within the tooth safely and efficiently. Root canals can be difficult to plan for as the proper junction within the tooth cannot be seen by x-ray. However, a dentist can reliably plan on beginning and terminating the root canal at the point of the CDJ. Using a technology called an apex locator, finding the CDJ can be made easier and take less time overall. Once the CDJ is located, the dentist can use this as an entry and exit point to the pulp chamber inside the tooth to remove the damaged pulp within the tooth and relieve the painful symptoms.
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