Morphogenetic fields and variation in deciduous tooth crown size.

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John Lukacs


Does variation in deciduous tooth crown size and variation agree with expectations predicted by morphogenetic fields (MGF) as documented for morphometric attributes of permanent teeth?  Published literature on deciduous tooth crown size permits analysis of a large dataset.  Are expectations of MGF theory evident in size and patterns of variation within and between deciduous tooth classes? Thirty-five reports of deciduous tooth crown size have a global distribution, are ethnically diverse, and geographically widespread.  Analysis centers on mesiodistal and buccolingual dimensions, crown areas (CA), coefficients of variation (CV) and rank order of variability across the dental arcade.  Mean crown size, CAs and CVs follow expectation: a) udi1is larger and less variable than udi2, b) a gradual decline in mean CVs from dc to dm2 is evident, c) in rank order of decreasing CV dm2 is the least variable, and incisors are most variable. The udi1 and dm2s  exhibit attributes of key teeth.  In size, measures of variability, and rank order variation across teeth, results are consistent with expectations based on MGFs in permanent teeth.  This confirms the likely existence of morphogenetic-like fields in deciduous teeth during dental development.  The diverse groups and different modes of analysis ensure confidence in the results that may have value for clinical purposes and evolutionary studies.


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