dentition

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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.
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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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Observations of cranial morphoscopic traits and dental morphology were made by a single observer on a sample of 683 individuals of African American or European American ancestry or Hispanic ethnicity (Table 1).
Because of the frequency and variability of TCMTs, human populations can be associated with geographical distributions, and different researchers have ethnographically classified human beings in complex populations from dental morphology. The first of these complexes was defined by Hanihara in 1966 (16) as the Mongoloid Dental Complex, which brings together different populations from East Asia that are characterized by having a complex dental morphology represented in a high frequency of shovel-shaped, layered fold and cusp pattern 6 incisors.
(1995): A classification of the Gliridae (Rodentia) on the basis of dental morphology. Hystrix (n.s.) 6 (1-2), 3-50.
Providing a broad view of current research, international researchers look at dental morphology from evolutionary, anatomical, clinical, and archaeological perspectives.
Microwear-based dietary reconstructions are of particular value because they provide a means for determining diet that does not depend on dental morphology. The fact that it is non-destructive makes it useful for paleontological applications.
In accordance with this, the dental morphology of the present material is consistent with the Mongoloid dental complex as described by Pedersen (1949).
(12.) Long DG and Waggoner BM: Evolutionary Relationships of the White Shark: A Phylogeny of Lamniform Sharks Based on Dental Morphology. In "The Biology of the White Shark, Caracharodon carcharias." (Klimley and Ainley, Eds) San Diego CA, USA: Academic Press p37-47, 1996.
After the collection of casts, the primary research strategy upon which this research was based, was derived from assessment of a series of different dental morphological traits scored in accordance with "Arizona state university dental morphology system".10 These dental morphological traits were scored in accordance with "ordinally-graded plaster plaques".
The use of dental morphology in forensic anthropology has fallen far short of its application in bioarchaeological studies.
The Anthropology of Modern Human Teeth: Dental Morphology and its Variation in Recent Human Populations (Cambridge Studies in Biological and Evolutionary Anthropology).