A tooth ornament, also known as dogtooth or dentil, refers to a carved ornamental repeat molding typically seen in architectural and decorative designs. It consists of small, block-like shapes resembling canine teeth or tooth-like projections. These tooth ornaments are often used as decorative elements in cornices, friezes, arches, and columns.
The term dogtooth is derived from the similarity of the shape to the fangs of dogs. The name dentil comes from the Latin word dens, meaning tooth. Both terms are used interchangeably to describe this particular ornamentation.
These tooth ornaments are characterized by their repetitive placement along a molding or architectural feature, creating a pattern that adds visual interest and complexity to the design. They are typically made of stone, wood, or plaster and are often found in classical and traditional architectural styles.
The tooth ornament, with its intricate and evenly spaced projections, is valued for its ability to enhance and highlight the overall design of a building. Its precise arrangement adds depth and dimension to flat surfaces, giving them a more sophisticated and refined look.