Home / Research Updates / The use of tooth crown measurements in the assessment of ancestry.

The use of tooth crown measurements in the assessment of ancestry.

As the hardest tissue in the body, teeth have the potential to offer a wealth of biological information to the forensic anthropologist, which can include the assessment of ancestry. Using a large data set of dental measurements, the efficacy of mesiodistal and buccolingual tooth dimensions to discriminate between broad, geographically based groups is explored. A general pattern is identified: African populations have the largest teeth, Asians possess teeth of intermediate size, and Europeans have the smallest teeth. In a discriminant function analysis using crown measurements of all teeth (mandibular and maxillary and excluding the third molar), individuals were correctly classified in 71.3% of cases. When the sex of the individual is known, classification is improved up to 88.1% in females and 71.9% of males (cross-validated). Based on these results, we argue that dental metrics can be regularly employed as part of the development of the biological profile.

© 2014 American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

About Odont1

Odont1
Odont1 is a seasoned forensic dentist, researcher and educator with an interest in progressing the science of the discipline while retaining those elements that are evidence based and useful to the judicial system at any level.

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