dentition

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Related to Dental morphology: dental anatomy

dentition,

kind, number, and arrangement of the teethteeth,
hard, calcified structures embedded in the bone of the jaws of vertebrates that perform the primary function of mastication. Humans and most other mammals have a temporary set of teeth, the deciduous, or milk, teeth; in humans, they usually erupt between the 6th and 24th
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 of humans and other animals. During the course of evolution, teeth were derived from bony body scales similar to the placoid scales on the skin of modern sharks. Tooth structures such as those found in humans are restricted to certain vertebrates, i.e., most fish, mammals, and reptiles, and some amphibians. The teeth of sharks, which are primitive vertebrates, consist of simple conelike structures, sometimes with serrated edges and sometimes flattened for crushing shelled prey. In many lower vertebrates the individual teeth are replaced throughout the animal's life; old tooth loss and new tooth growth follow wavelike patterns down the length of jaw and affect alternate teeth at any one time, so that half the teeth in a region are always functional. Fish and reptiles that have teeth have homodont dentition; that is, all teeth are identical. The mammals have heterodont dentition, or teeth of different basic types, including incisors for nipping or cutting, canines for piercing, and premolars and molars for shearing and grinding. Carnivorous animals have relatively small incisors, used for grasping rather than for cutting; long and strong canines; and relatively thin, sharp premolars and molars, used for severing muscle and other tissues. Herbivorous animals have well-developed incisors, used to cut grass and other vegetation; canines that are either smaller than those of carnivores or absent altogether; and broad, flat premolars and molars for grinding food. In some herbivores, the upper canines are absent, so they cut vegetation by the combined action of the tongue and lower incisors. Omnivorous animals such as man have less specialized dentition. Only part of the dentition of mammals is usually replaced; however, the incisors of rodents grow out at the base as fast as they wear down at the tip. Teeth, the hardest structures in the body, have been well preserved as fossils and have played an important role for paleontologists and physical anthropologists in the study of human evolution.

dentition

[den′tish·ən]
(vertebrate zoology)
The arrangement, type, and number of teeth which are variously located in the oral or in the pharyngeal cavities, or in both, in vertebrates.

dentition

1. the arrangement, type, and number of the teeth in a particular species. Man has a primary dentition of deciduous teeth and a secondary dentition of permanent teeth
2. teething or the time or process of teething
References in periodicals archive ?
None of the species that have been previously suggested as the last common ancestor of Neanderthals and modern humans has a dental morphology that is fully compatible with the expected morphology of this ancestor," Gomez-Robles said.
compressus gross dental morphology have suggested that it was a browser (e.
1 What complex of dental traits characterize populations of west and central India, and can the pattern of dental morphology distinguishing these populations be regarded as intermediate between the dental complexes characteristic of North and South Indian populations?
Analysis based on dental morphology therefore indicates genetic continuity between the Portuguese Mesolithic and Neolithic.
This explains why mutation of these genes produces complex anomalies and multi-organic syndromes, including dental morphology, number or eruption abnormalities.
Anthropologists and archaeologists from around the world look at the Neolithic domestication of humans from perspectives of subsistence transitions; growth and body size variation; biomechanics and indicators of habitual activity; and archaeogenetics, palaeodemography, and cranial and dental morphology.