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Lec. 6 Dr. Ali H.


Mean the process of production & development (mineralization) of enamel,
and begins when the crown is forming during the bell stage of tooth

A- Life cycle of the ameloblast:

The life span of the cells of the inner enamel epithelium can be divided into
six stages.
1-Morphogenic stage: the inner enamel epithelium interacts with the
adjacent mesenchymal cells of dental papillae, determining the shape of the
dentinioenamel junction & the crown. During this morphogenic stage the
cells are short columnar, with large oval nuclei. Terminal bars appear
represent points of close contact between cells. The inner enamel epithelium
is separated from the C.T of dental papillae by basal lamina.

2-Organizing stage: the inner enamel epithelium cells become longer &
come into close contact with C.T. cells of the pulp which differentiate into
The 1st appearance of dentin is a critical phase in the life cycle of the inner
enamel epithelium as it’s in contact with the C.T. of dental papillae; it
receives nutrient material from the blood vessels of this tissue. When dentin
forms, it cuts off the ameloblasts from their original source of nourishment,
then they are supplied by the capillaries that surround & penetrate the outer
enamel epithelium.

3-Formative stage: the ameloblasts enter their formative stage after the 1st
layer of dentin has been formed. During formation of the enamel matrix the
ameloblasts retain the same length & arrangement.
The earliest change is the development of cell process on the ameloblast
surface, which penetrate the predentin & known as Tome’s processes.

4-Maturative stage: enamel maturation (full mineralization) occurs after

most of the thickness of the enamel matrix has been formed in the occlusal
or incisal area.
During enamel maturation the ameloblasts are slightly reduced in length &
closely attached to enamel matrix & display microvilli at their distal ends &
cytoplasmic vacuoles.
These 2 structures indicate an absorptive function of the ameloblasts

5- Protective stage: when the enamel has completely developed & has fully
calcified, the ameloblasts can no differentiated from the cells of the stratum
intermedium & outer enamel epithelium which fuse together to form the
reduced enamel epithelium.
The function of reduced enamel epithelium is to protect the mature enamel
by separating it from the C.T, until the tooth erupts.

6- Desmolytic stage: the reduced enamel epithelium proliferates & elaborate

enzymes that atrophied & destroyed the C.T, fibers by desmolysis separating
it from the oral epithelium so that fusion of the two epithelium can occur
then the tooth erupted into the oral cavity, in this time the reduced enamel
epithelium contribute to form the junctional epithelium.

B-Formation of the enamel matrix

Ameloblasts begin enamel deposition after a few amount of dentin have
been deposited at the dentinoenamel junction.
The ameloblasts maintains cell-to-cell attachments at both the proximal &
distal ends of the cell.
Short conical processes (Tome’s processes) develop at the apical end of the
ameloblasts during the formative or secretory stage.

Junctional complexes called the terminal bar appear at the junction of the
cell bodies & Tome’s processes & maintain contact between adjacent cells.
As the ameloblast influenced by dentin, the matrix is synthesized &
deposited first along the dentin & establishes the dentinoenamel junction.
As the enamel matrix develops, it forms in continuous rods from the
dentinoenamel junction to the surface of the enamel.
With synthesis of enamel, substances needed for enamel production arrive
via the blood vessels & pass through the stellate reticulum to the stratum
intermedium & ameloblasts. In this manner the protein amelogenin is
Only a few ameloblasts at the tip of the cusps begin to function initially. As
the process proceeds, more ameloblasts become active & the increments of
enamel matrix become more prominent.

C- Mineralization & maturation of enamel matrix

As amelogenin is deposited & enamel matrix formed, the matrix begins to
As soon as the small crystals of mineral are deposited, they begin to grow in
length & diameter.
The initial deposition of mineral amounts to approximately 25% of the total
enamel. The other 71% of mineral in enamel is a result of growth of the
crystals (4% of enamel is water & organic materials).
The time between enamel matrix deposition & its mineralization is short.
Therefore the pattern of mineralization closely follows the pattern of matrix
deposition (the 1st matrix deposited is the 1st enamel mineralized, occurring
along the dentinoenamel junction.
Matrix formation & mineralization continue peripherally to the tips of the
cusps & then laterally on the sides of the crown, finally the cervical region
During this process, protein of the enamel changes or matures & is termed

As the ameloblast completes the matrix deposition phase, their terminal bars
disappear & the surface enamel become smooth.
This phase is signaled by a change in the appearance & function of the
ameloblast. The apical end becomes ruffled along the enamel surface.
The length of the ameloblast decreases & becomes more active in absorption
of the organics matrix & water from enamel, which allows mineralization to
Then the ameloblasts secrete the organic cuticle in the protective stage. The
ameloblast shorten & contact the stratum intermedium & stellate reticulum
& outer enamel epithelium to form the reduced enamel epithelium.
The reduced enamel epithelium remains on the enamel surface until the
tooth erupts into the oral cavity.