Attachment tissues of the teeth in Caiman sclerops (Crocodilia)



As the Crocodilia are the only non-mammalian vertebrates with tooth sockets, the attachment tissues of the teeth were studied in Caiman sclerops mainly at the ultrastructural level and were compared with those of mammals. All three attachment tissues (alveolar bone, cementum and periodontal ligament) in the Caiman showed both similarities and differences with their mammalian counterparts. Highly organized, lamellated structures, probably representing specialized sensory nerve endings were observed within the Caiman ligament. No such structure has ever been described in the mammalian ligament.