Intentional Dental Modifications in the African Population 2

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Downloads (Pure)


This research paper aims to conduct a comprehensive observation of existing scientific literature on intentional dental modifications within the African population. By synthesizing and analysing studies, this paper aims to shed light on the prevalence, cultural significance, and forensic implications of intentional dental modifications. A scoping review was conducted according to PRISMA for Scoping Reviews, and a search performed in June 2023 on the three electronic databases Scopus, PubMed, and Web of Science. The search resulted in 30 studies and showed that intentional dental modifications, also referred to as non-therapeutic dental modifications, are prevalent across the African population for reasons due to traditional medicine, ethnic affiliation, and individualism, with the highest reported modification being infant oral mutilation at 53% followed by tooth filing at 10%, and others such as lip plates, diastema piercings, dental avulsion, dental tattooing, crowns, and oral piercings. The quality and quantity of available literature on intentional dental modifications in the African population are limited due to bias in reporting, as most studies are those of individuals with severe health complications. The data gathered from this study could further aid in the analysis and identification of nontherapeutic dental modifications and be used in profiling and assist in the estimation of population affiliation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-60
Number of pages11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2024


  • Forensic dentistry
  • Dental modifications
  • Tooth jewellery
  • Gingiva tattoo
  • Oral piercings
  • Africa


Dive into the research topics of 'Intentional Dental Modifications in the African Population 2'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this