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Technical Note: Guidelines for the digital computation of 2D and 3D enamel thickness in hominoid teeth



The study of enamel thickness has received considerable attention in regard to the taxonomic, phylogenetic and dietary assessment of human and non-human primates. Recent developments based on two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) digital techniques have facilitated accurate analyses, preserving the original object from invasive procedures. Various digital protocols have been proposed. These include several procedures based on manual handling of the virtual models and technical shortcomings, which prevent other scholars from confidently reproducing the entire digital protocol. There is a compelling need for standard, reproducible, and well-tailored protocols for the digital analysis of 2D and 3D dental enamel thickness. In this contribution we provide essential guidelines for the digital computation of 2D and 3D enamel thickness in hominoid molars, premolars, canines and incisors. We modify previous techniques suggested for 2D analysis and we develop a new approach for 3D analysis that can also be applied to premolars and anterior teeth. For each tooth class, the cervical line should be considered as the fundamental morphological feature both to isolate the crown from the root (for 3D analysis) and to define the direction of the cross-sections (for 2D analysis). Am J Phys Anthropol 153:305–313, 2014. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.