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I'm not certain if it's possible, honestly. I know some cartilaginous fish like sharks and rays that have tooth-like structures lining their skin, called placiod scales, but I've never heard of any creature that has a skeleton comprised of dentin. This makes me question if it's even possible, and if it were; what limitations are imposed on having a dentin skeleton?

I'm not asking for a structure identical to teeth, but similar to it. The skeleton would need a supporting structure with enough segmentation to bend/curve. (a spine) Furthermore, if a flaw about dentin can be amended with an additional structure (like a protective coating or a slightly different composition), please mention it.

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  • $\begingroup$ A pro with normal bone could perform karate chop his/her entire life without breaking a single sweat/brick, while one with dentin would only manage to break just one single brick in his/her entire lifetime. $\endgroup$
    – user6760
    Nov 25, 2017 at 5:09

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Your skeleton is already essentially made of dentin.

The only difference between dentin and bone is the relative proportions of the components and what shape it is laid down in. All vertebrate skeletons are essentially made of the same stuff as dentin; Hydroxyapatite and protein binders. Ther proportions vary wildly across all the bones in the body so it is not really important that the proportions are different.

Bone is more porous than dentin most of the time but that is just about how it is laid down. Bone is deposited with larger channels than dentin because bone needs to be restructured and repaired so it needs spaces for the cells that do this. Dentin has channels as well they are just smaller.

Consider a steel I beam vs a steel file, they are both made of steel they are just different shapes with slightly different amounts of iron, carbon, and additives.

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Well, a huge problem with dentin is that dentin cannot actually regenerate because it does not contain any cells (at least in human teeth). You would have to modify dentin so that it would contain cells to regenerate it in order to properly work as a material for a skeleton. Otherwise, the dentin skeleton would not repair itself.

The dentin skeleton would also need to have a replacement for bone marrow in order to replace its functionality, because otherwise the production of certain cells and materials (like blood cells, bone, cartilage, and fat) for the body will NOT be produced.

You would also probably want to cover the dentin in enamel, since enamel is much stronger than dentin and wears away more slowly.

Here is some of the articles I looked at.

https://www.quora.com/If-most-of-the-cells-in-the-human-body-regenerate-then-why-dont-tooth-cavities-heal

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dentin#Development

https://www.sciencedaily.com/terms/bone_marrow.htm

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