Children's Health: Dental Development

Knowledge of the different stages of tooth development is critically important to ensure an adequate treatment plan for health care consumers, as well as to understand the occurrence of dental anomalies. In many cases, it is difficult to accurately discuss dental anomalies without pinpointing the stage of tooth development in which they manifest. Teeth are formed by tissues originating from both ectoderm and mesoderm tissues. Tooth development is organized by the following stages: initiation, proliferation, histodifferentiation, morphodifferentiation, apposition, calcification, and eruption (see Figure 1, next page). This entry first describes these stages and then discusses dental anomalies and primary prevention for healthy dentition.

Tooth Developmental Stages


Initiation is first noticed in the 6-week-old fetus where the basal layer of its oral epithelium demonstrates areas of increased activity ...

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