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Ameloblasts are cells, present only during tooth development, that deposit tooth enamel, the hard outermost layer of the tooth that forms the chewing surface.

Ameloblasts are cells which secrete the enamel proteins enamelin and amelogenin which will later mineralize to form enamel on teeth, the hardest substance in the human body.[1] Each Ameloblast is approximately 4 micrometers in diameter, 40 micrometers in length and has a hexagonal cross section. The secretory end of the ameloblast ends in a six-sided pyramid-like projection known as the Tomes' process. The angulation of the Tomes' process is significant in the orientation of enamel rods. Ameloblasts are derived from oral epithelium tissue of ectodermal origin. Their differentiation is a result of signaling from the ectomesenchymal cells of the dental papilla. The ameloblasts will only become fully functional after the first layer of dentine has been formed, as such dentine is a precursor to enamel. Ameloblasts control ionic and organic compositions of enamel. They adjust their secretory and resorptive activities to maintain favorable conditions for biomineralization.

Life cycle of ameloblasts

The life cycle of ameloblasts consists of six stages :

  • 1. Morphogenic stage
  • 2. Organizing stage
  • 3. Formative (secretory) stage
  • 4. Maturative stage
  • 5. Protective stage
  • 6. Desmolytic stage


  1. ^ Gartner, Leslie P., James L. Hiatt. (2001). Color Textbook of Histology, 2nd Edition. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Company. pp. 366. ISBN 0-7216-8806-3.  

See also

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