Tooth eruption is a physiological process which influences the normal development of the craniofacial complex. It is a unique process: teeth are the only organs to appear a few months or years after birth. They come out of their bony crypt into the oral cavity to become a completely functional organ. The eruption of deciduous and permanent teeth is a chronologically defined phenomenon which remains poorly understood. For many years, the theories of eruption have prevailed. Recently, the knowledge on tooth eruption has evolved, due to technological breakthroughs which allowed to shake up the former theories and show the key-role of the dental follicle. Complex interactions were high-lighted between osteoblasts, osteoclasts and dental follicle, involving numerous genes. The study of multiple genetic or acquired disorders allowed us to understand the mechanisms of tooth eruption and showed us how these interactions are essential in the development of dentition. Indeed, the tooth eruption process might be stopped due to local, systemic disorders or genetic disorders; the clinical picture includes simple delays as well as complete absence of eruption. An alteration of the eruption is often the first and sometimes the only manifestation of a systemic or genetic pathology. That is why it is important to identify precisely the cause of this kind of alteration in order to make an accurate diagnosis, to define a global treatment plan and determine the proper moment for the orthodontic treatment.
Authors : B. CASTANEDA, C. CHOUKROUNE