Dentine (British English: dentine, American English: dentin, Latin: substantia eburnea) is a calcified tissue of the body, and along with enamel, cementum, and pulp is one of the four major components of teeth. Usually, it is covered by enamel on the crown and cementum on the root and surrounds the entire pulp. By weight, seventy percent of dentin consists of the mineral hydroxylapatite, twenty percent is organic material and ten percent is water. Yellow in appearance, it greatly affects the color of a tooth due to the translucency of enamel. Dentin, which is less mineralized and less brittle than enamel, is necessary for the support of enamel.
Dentin consists of microscopic channels, called dentinal tubules, which radiate outward through the dentin from the pulp to the exterior cementum or enamel border. These tubules contain fluid and cellular structures. As a result, dentin has a degree of permeability which can increase the sensation of pain and the rate of tooth decay.
The formation of dentin, known as dentinogenesis, begins prior to the formation of enamel and is initiated by the odontoblasts of the pulp. Unlike enamel, dentin continues to form throughout life and can be initiated in response to stimuli, such as tooth decay or attrition.