Pulp development was studied with light and electron microscopy in apical portions of cat primary and permanent incisors at various stages of development in order to qualitatively assess hypothesized differences during maturation. Primary and permanent tooth pulps passed through similar stages up to when the primary teeth began to resorb. At that point permanent tooth pulps continued to develop in complexity relative to myelinated axons and developed thin epineurial sheaths. Although the stages were similar in several regards, the time needed by the permanent tooth pulps to reach each stage was considerably greater than for the primary tooth pulps. It is of interest that the young permanent teeth had only a small portion of their final complement of nerves in spite of their relatively complete development.
Individual axons, especially myelinated axons, appeared more immature in younger primary and permanent teeth. This suggests a less mature sensory capability for erupting primary teeth as compared to fully developed primary teeth as well as for erupting and young permanent teeth compared to old permanent teeth.