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[Embryology] How to remember the stages of tooth development

[Embryology] How to remember the stages of tooth development

11/14/2017 7:00:00 AM   |   Comments: 0   |   Views: 865

During one of my latest presentation, while we were talking about Embryology and Histology, one of the students asked me what type of memory techniques I use to memorize content. I thought it was a great question so today I would like to share with you a few easy tips on how to memorize the different stages of tooth development.

Let's get started!

You can watch this video or keep reading to find out how do I use memory trick to memorize the different stages of tooth development.

Memorization is easy if you know the techniques. Our brain hates the boring stuff (at least mine!) and that's why memorizing should be made fun for our brain by using visualization and association techniques. That way we will retain the information for a longer time.

The three main concepts in memorization are:

  • Observe Look at the image or word you need to memorize.
  • Substitute the word with some ideas or things that you already know.
  • Connect it with something else (the crazier it is, the better you will retain it).

Now let's apply these techniques to the stages of tooth development.

Six Stages of Tooth Development and Tips on How to Memorize Them

We are going to use this chapter of Embryology as an example and I will show you how to memorize each of the stages.

1. Initiation: The very first stage. Have you heard of lamination? For example, when you have your ID laminated, there's a layer of plastic covering it. The same concept applies for the dental lamina. During initiation, there is a thin layer of dental lamina. The dental lamina connects the developing tooth bud to the epithelial layer of the mouth for a significant time. This is how by remembering the concept of lamination you can also remember what initiation is all about.

2. Bud stage: The bud stage is characterized by the appearance of a tooth bud without a clear arrangement of cells. To memorize that, remember that before a flower grows, there is a bud. Think of a rosebud to remember this second stage. Bud stage is the germ forming stage.

3. Cap stage: This one is a little bit more complex to remember. So let's go crazy. Think of a cap. Draw it if you need to. Inside the cap you will have three letters: O, P and S. Each of these letters will correspond with one of the three different things happening during Cap stage:

The letter "O" is for dental enamel organ forming, letter "P" is for dental papilla forming, and letter "S" is for dental sac forming. Eventually, the enamel organ will produce enamel, the dental papilla will give rise to the dentin and pulp, and the dental sac will produce all the supporting structures of a tooth, the periodontium. See? Things have got a little bit easier for you now to remember this one.

4. Bell stage: When I think of a bell, I think about a very busy noise. For example, you are waiting for the train and the bell is ringing. It is alerting. Maybe it even makes you feel a little anxious because it is a very busy noise. The same way in this stage things get busy. There are many different things happening: extensive proliferation occurs and cytodifferentiation starts (which means the layers are starting to form into specialized layers such as muscles and nerves). So to remember this busy stage, think about the busy bell noise.

5. Apposition: During this stage, things start going in different directions. If I observe the word apposition I immediately see the word position, which reminds me of the word direction. In this stage, the enamel, cementum, and dentin are secreted in layers and are going in different directions in order to create the tooth structure. You can also think of the word app as in apply because you are applying different layers in different directions.

6. Maturation: This one is very easier to remember. You just let it grow. Let the tooth mature.

stages of tooth development



If you like acronyms you can create one to help you memorize the six steps in order. Think of a sentence that is funny so that your brain can retain it better. For this acronym: I-B-C-B-A-M. we can think of a cat (because I like cats!) and form a sentence like:

I Bathe the Cat Because she Ate the Mouse.


I know it sounds a bit weird but remember, by doing this you are helping your brain to retain more information.

Don't be afraid of being creative with this. Use your imagination. During the examination, they won't ask you how did you memorize the six stages of tooth development. You just have to use these memory tricks to remember them and nail the questions at the exam.

I really hope that you put these techniques into practice and I'm sure they will help you to be successful in your examination.


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Related post: How to Remember Drug Names Better and ACE Pharmacology


The Author:

StudentRDH Claire Jeong is an entrepreneur striving to promote success through education. She founded StudentRDH, which offers review courses for certification exams for dental assisting students. The online platform delivers content of the highest quality through the latest e-learning technology. Jeong has a master’s degree in administration from Boston University and a dental hygiene degree from Forsyth School of Dental Hygiene in Boston. She also advocates for efficacy in learning and in life through her articles, speeches, and business. Contact her at


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