K. KODONAS, A. FARDI
SUMMARY: Tooth eruption is considered to be a developmental process whereby the tooth moves in an axial direction from its location within the alveolar crypt of the jaw into a functional position within the oral cavity. Remarkably, for such a fundamental process, the mechanism of tooth eruption is not well understood. Numerous theories have been proposed. These theories have implicated almost all the tissues in or near an erupting tooth. According to current evidence, the understanding of the tooth eruption process lays on the cellular and molecular basis. The aim of this article was to review the theories and possible mechanisms, which have been proposed to explain the eruptive process. Additionally, the sequence of the cellular events and the molecules involved in this process are described. Followed by a brief discussion concerning the tooth eruption process in the framework of cellular and molecular interactions. Current understanding of tooth eruption based on previous studies suggest that root elongation and periodontal ligament formation cannot alone account for all of the movements made by a tooth during its lifetime. Tooth eruption mechanism is mainly attributed to the local regulation of alveolar bone metabolism. Since bone resorption and formation is controlled by the dental follicle, tooth eruption is considered to be an event in alveolar bone that is regulated by the dental follicle as well. Eruptions process is a complex phenomenon that involves the timely action and interaction of cells. More understanding of the molecular basis may offer new clinical options in the future.
KEY WORDS: Tooth eruption, Theories, Mechanisms.