, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp 37-46

Tooth size and arcadal length correlates in man

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Abstract

Intra-arcadal mesiodistal and buccolingual tooth size correlations were evaluated in a sample of 125 caucasoids with ideal occlusion. Dental dimensions were corrected for arcade mength (as a measure of jaw size) by a series of regression analyses of each mesiodistal dimension on the sum of the mesiodistal dimensions within each arcade. Regression coefficients of tooth dimension on arcade length were calculated to gain an insight into the dimensional sensitivity of individual teeth to arcade length variation. The data presented here suggest a strong association between arcadal length (jaw size) dependence, and the dimensional stability of individual teeth. When corrected for arcade length, a definite pattern of tooth size correlation emerges: postcanine maxillary and mandibular teeth are negatively correlated to the anterior teeth and are positively correlated to one another. The hypothesis is developed that anterior and postcanine teeth should be viewed as two separate and negatively size-correlated units, beyond the boundaries of the four morphological tooth classes. Recognition of this basic dichotomous size arrangement within each jaw allows for a reassessment of some of the problems associated with hominid dental evolution.