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Keywords:

  • enamel hypoplasia;
  • odontometrics;
  • directional asymmetry;
  • fluctuating asymmetry;
  • Australians;
  • twins

Abstract

Four aspects of enamel hypoplasia of the maxillary central incisor and mandibular canine (hypoplasia presence, width, cumulative width, and crown position) were correlated with directional and fluctuating measures of bilateral odontometric asymmetry in a large panel (n = 950) of South Australian twins. Hypoplasia and asymmetry are thought to reflect general developmental disruption, but they show few correlations beyond the expected statistical type I error. This may relate to differences in their specific etiology, the composite nature of overall crown dimensions, a general lack of stress, and the extended period of formation of dental crowns. In contrast, asymmetry is marginally more detectable in a subsample separated according to hypoplastic teeth, suggesting that correspondence may be clearer in comparisons at the population rather than individual level. The most notable difference is the greater variability of asymmetry measures in hypoplastic individuals. Am J Phys Anthropol 126:177–182, 2005. © 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.