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Problems in determining the tooth eruption sequence in fossil and modern man


, : Problems in determining the tooth eruption sequence in fossil and modern man. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 15(3): 313-331

The sequence of eruption of the permanent teeth has been extensively cited as a taxonomic criterion, distinguishing fossil hominids from contemporary white man. Since the order of eruption through the gum (the standard of reference in the living), cannot be used for skeletalized material, substitute sequences have been employed with the implicit assumption that these substitute sequences are equivalent or identical to the order of gingival eruption. Serial study of longitudinally-collected oblique-jaw roentgenograms of 255 white Ohio-born children casts doubt on the assumption of equivalence. The proportions of the M2P2 and P2M2 sequence vary considerably from one stage of calcification or eruption to another, the M2P2 sequence being especially common at the alveolar eruption stage. Since the assumption of equivalence has proved untenable, and since the eruption sequence does not distinguish fossil hominids from recent man, the use of the eruption sequences commonly given as a taxonomic criterion seems distinctly unwise.

US$19.90

PMID: 13508842

DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.1330150312


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