The Uniqueness of the Human Anterior Dentition: a Geometric Morphometric Analysis
KIESER J.; BERNAL V.; WADDELL J.N.; RAJU S.
JOURNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCES
Año: 2007 p. 671 - 671
The analysis of bitemarks has a significant bearing on forensic odontology and has attracted an increasingly sophisticated array of techniques in its evaluation. Two postulates underlie all bitemark analyses: firstly, that the characteristics of the anterior teeth involved in the bite are unique, and secondly, that this uniqueness is accurately recorded in the material bitten. Here, we investigate the question of the uniqueness of the anterior dentition. To do this, we use geometric morphometric techniques based on landmark and semilandmark data. The incisor and canine occlusal surfaces of 50 randomly selected orthodontic casts of young individuals (1720 years) of both sexes form the material for this study. We analyzed the sizes of these teeth by means of landmark and semilandmark analysis to calculate Procrustes distances between tooth outlines. Inorder to analyze shape variation among individuals, we carried out principal components analyses on the partial warp scores. These are derived from Partial Procrustes coordinates aligned by means of thin-plate spline decomposition based on the bending energy matrix. The results indicatethat there is no sexual dimorphism in the shape of the upper or lower arches. Plots of centroid size and first relative warps show less superposition among individuals than in shape analysis. This means that, when the size and shape are considered together, the difference between archesincreases. Procrustes superimposition between the two individuals located most closely (0.0444) and the two most separated (0.1567) along the first axis of relative warp analyses show that individuals are not only differentiated by the relative position of their teeth but also by their archshape. In conclusion, it appears that the incisal surfaces of the anterior dentition are in fact unique.