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Keywords:

  • Orthal retraction;
  • Mastication;
  • Dentitions;
  • Dental development

Abstract

The orientation of striated wear facets on primate teeth serves as a useful guide for reconstructing jaw movements during mastication. Most wear facets on the molars are formed during one of the two well-documented movements, Phase I or Phase II, of the power stroke. Another jaw movement direction, “orthal retraction” (OR) has been proposed to account for a third set of facets occasionally present on the pointed tips of premolars and molars. Evidence advanced here indicates that OR facets on pointed anterior premolars (P3) of cercopithecoids are actually Phase I facets that have become reoriented as a result of a rotation of this tooth during its eruption. “Orthal retraction” probably does not exist as a discrete masticatory phase.