First lower molar development in the mouse was investigated from the cap to early bell stage using histology, morphometry, TEM and 3D reconstructions. This period was characterized by the histogenesis of the enamel organ (EO), folding of the epithelio-mesenchymal junction and growth of the tooth. The histogenesis of the EO and appearance of the enamel knot (EK) were initiated at the early cap stage (ED14). From ED14 to ED15, the anterior and posterior extension of the EK was very prominent whilst the length of the enamel organ did not substantially change. The EK appeared as a dynamic and transitory histological structure including dying and replacement cells. At ED16, the folding of the IDE, which extended over the anterior two thirds of the molar, was the first sign of cuspidogenesis. It was accompanied by a local remodeling of the basement membrane (BM): IDE cells involved in this folding transitorily lost contact with the BM which formed a loop in the mesenchyme. During this period, the growth of the lower M1 along the antero-posterior axis was restricted to the posterior part of the molar. Histogenesis occurred in the whole EO, whilst initial cuspidogenesis was limited to the anterior part of the tooth. Distinct cell populations were thus involved in different contemporary processes leading to changes in the cell density in the mesenchyme, in the mitotic activity, in cell-shape, and cell-matrix interactions in the IDE, and remodeling of the BM where both epithelium and mesenchyme might participate.