Taurodontism: A biometric study

Authors

  • Joseph E. Blumberg,

    1. Department of Anthropology, University of Arizona, Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago and Department of Pathology and Walter G. Zoller Memorial Dental Clinic, University of Chicago
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  • William L. Hylander,

    1. Department of Anthropology, University of Arizona, Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago and Department of Pathology and Walter G. Zoller Memorial Dental Clinic, University of Chicago
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  • Robert A. Goepp

    1. Department of Anthropology, University of Arizona, Department of Anthropology, University of Chicago and Department of Pathology and Walter G. Zoller Memorial Dental Clinic, University of Chicago
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Abstract

This study has been carried out in order to clarify various aspects of the phenomenon known as taurodontism. Samples of both taurodont and non-taurodont teeth were measured and statistical analyses were performed on the resultant data from which various conclusions may be drawn. The most important conclusion is that this phenomenon may be defined metrically. The distributions have shown that the taurodont trait grades into the normal and it is quite difficult to make a subjective judgment at the low end of the taurodont range. It is for this reason that an accurate mathematical means for performing this task is so invaluable. The question of the nature of cuneiform single rooted molars was also investigated, and they were found not to be true taurodonts although the statistical procedure classed them as such. It was demonstrated that through the construction of simple plots these teeth could be eliminated from any group classed by analysis as taurodonts. Various metrical attributes were evaluated with respect to their ability to distinguish taurodonts, and two were found to be satisfactory for this purpose in most cases. Certain changes in molar morphology regarding caries and age were also investigated.

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