Materials and Methods: The present work investigates the relationship between dental macrowear patterns and tooth inclinations on a sample of complete maxillary and mandibular 3D models of dental arches from 19 young and adult Yuendumu Aboriginal individuals. The analysis was carried out on first molars (M1) from all quadrants. Occlusal Fingerprint Analysis was used for the analysis of macrowear patterns, and 2D cross-sectional geometric analysis was carried out to investigate asymmetry in dental arches.
Results: The asymmetry is highly variable on both arches, and it is associated with differences in the inclination of upper M1 crowns. Each molar has variable inclination (buccal/lingual) which influence tooth to tooth contact, producing greater or lesser variation in wear pattern. Inter-individual variability of morphological variation of the occlusal relationship has to be considered in macrowear analysis.
Discussion: Our results suggest that overall asymmetry in the masticatory apparatus of modern humans affects occlusal contact areas between opposing teeth.
- dental function
- palatal arch
- tooth wear