Bone formation as a potential motive force of tooth eruption in the rat molar

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The objectives of this anatomical study were to (1) determine if significant bone growth occurs in the base of the alveolar bony crypt of the first mandibular molar to move the tooth through the eruption pathway; (2) determine if the osteogenesis in the crypt correlates with the published chronological gene expression of bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2) in the dental follicle; and (3) determine chronologically and regionally the crypt bone activity. To accomplish this, the alveolar bony crypts of rat mandibular molars from postnatal days 3 to 18 were processed and examined by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). In addition, mandibles and teeth of ages 12-18 were prepared for light microscopy. SEM demonstrated that bone formation occurs in the basal (apical) portion of the alveolar bony crypt at day 3, whereas bone resorption concurrently is ongoing in the coronal region of the crypt. By day 9, the crypt is beginning to be reduced in depth as the result of basal bone formation, and by day 14, the base of the crypt immediately under the tooth is almost completely filled with bone to form the interradicular septum. At day 18, the tooth erupts as bone formation likely elevates the molar. Bone growth in the basal area of the crypt correlates with a previous study showing enhanced BMP-2 expression in the dental follicle. Thus, SEM indicates that the motive force of tooth eruption likely is bone formation at the base of the alveolar crypt and this osteogenesis may relate to BMP-2 production in the dental follicle.

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Clinical anatomy (New York, N.Y.)

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