Can human maxillary premolar crown dimensions discriminate between males and females?

Scheila Manica, Mark Hector, Helen M. Liversidge

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Abstract

Studies showed that odontometry can be used to analyse the influence of sexual dimorphism on the size of the teeth in specific ancestries. The aim of this study was to explore the bucco-lingual dimensions expressed as a ratio of human maxillary premolar crowns in males and females from polled ancestries. If this measurement could discriminate sex, it would have application in forensic cases, mass disasters and archaeology where the number of mingled human remains is high and the ancestry is unknown or multiple; Moreover, methodologies applied on radiographs or biochemical analysis in the laboratory is not always possible. The sample studied consisted of unworn premolars from 51 skeletal remains, 19 females and 32 males of known sex from collections: the Hunterian Museum, Royal College of Surgeons, England and the Natural History Museum, London and 100 archived orthodontic plaster casts of young adult dental patients (50 females and 50 males) of Royal London Hospital. Digital photographs were taken parallel to the occlusal surface and intercuspal distance and maximum bucco-lingual distance were captured using ImageJ 1.47v (U. S. National Institutes of Health, Maryland, USA), and the ratio of both distances calculated. Results were compared using a t-test and showed that for both upper premolars, the overall ratio was greater in males than females; however this was not significantly different to zero. The overall ratio for first premolar (P1) was less than second premolar (P2) in males and females. These findings show that maxillary premolar, measured in this way, are not significantly different and cannot discriminate between the sexes in this sample of different ancestries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-46
Number of pages6
JournalBulletin of the International Association for Paleodontology
Volume12
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2018

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Keywords

  • Odontomtry
  • morphology
  • premolar
  • sex
  • discrimination

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