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A radiographic assessment of enamel thickness in human maxillary incisors.

Authors
  • Harris, E F
  • Hicks, J D
Type
Published Article
Journal
Archives of Oral Biology
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
Oct 01, 1998
Volume
43
Issue
10
Pages
825–831
Identifiers
PMID: 9796784
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

Crown sizes of human teeth are sexually dimorphic, with male larger than female. This holds for most human groups, though the extent of dimorphism varies among populations. It is not known whether size dimorphism is due to differences in enamel thickness, dentine differences, or some combination of the two. This study examined the pattern of variation in enamel thickness on the mesial and distal margins of the four maxillary permanent incisors. Standardized periapical radiographs of the incisors of 115 adolescent American whites were measured. Enamel was significantly thicker on the distal than the mesial margins of both the lateral and central incisors, with a mean difference of 0.1 mm. There was no sexual dimorphism in the maximum mesial or distal enamel thicknesses. In contrast, the widths of the dentine of the crowns were significantly greater in males, by an average of 6.5%. Sexual dimorphism in mesiodistal diameters of the incisors seems, then, to be due to the dentine component, which is the size attained at the end of the bell stage of tooth formation. Sex-specific correlations between enamel thickness and crown width of the dentine were low (and lower for males), indicating considerable independence between regulatory mechanisms of dentine and enamel development.

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