Odontogenesis may sound like a futuristic term, however, it actually refers to the process by which teeth develop. This complex process begins with the formation of embryonic cells that grow to eventually erupt through the gums in the mouth as teeth.

We each grow two sets of teeth:

Primary teeth

These are the first set of teeth, also referred to as baby teeth. They begin to develop during gestation (while still in the womb), with the first teeth buds appearing in the baby’s jaw at around five weeks’. By the time of birth, although still hidden in the gums, the baby will have a full set of 20 primary teeth (10 upper and 10 lower). A baby’s first tooth begins to erupt at around six months.

The primary teeth are also referred to as milk teeth or deciduous teeth (referring to the fact that they will be shed after a certain period). Generally, the primary teeth will all be in place at around 2½ to 3 years of age. Then, between the ages of 6 and 12, the primary teeth will begin to fall out, making way for the following permanent set of teeth.

 Permanent teeth

For most adults, the second set of teeth will include 32 permanent (or adult) teeth. As the name implies, they are designed to be the final, life-long set of teeth, and will not be replaced if lost. The permanent teeth actually begin to grow as the primary teeth are lost – between the ages of 6 and 12.

The crown of the tooth is the first part to form, with the roots continuing to develop even after the crown has erupted.

The timing of the development and eruption of the teeth can vary between people, however, if you’re concerned about the development of your child’s or your own teeth, you can contact our caring team at Moss Vale Dental on (02) 4869 3111 to schedule an appointment. Our highly experienced dentists are here for your oral and dental wellbeing, as well as offering peace of mind.

A First Visit

There’s a fair bit of debate around the optimal time for a first visit.

Teeth should appear at six months, and that’s not too early to detect any unusual growth patterns and other developmental patterns that cause occasional problems. We recommend a First Visit anywhere between six months and two years: we’re always happy to reassure you that everything is on track with your child’s growth and development.



57-59 Elizabeth Street

Moss Vale NSW 2577

(02) 4869 3111

Call us today!

Opening Hours

Mon - Fri: 8:30 - 17:30

Book Appointment