Quantification of the dental arch and its use in estimating ancestry
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One role of forensic anthropologists is to create a biological profile to help identify remains. This includes estimating ancestry. Many morphological and metrical methods of ancestry estimation have been created and utilized. This study was aimed at created a simple, metrical analysis of dental arch size and shape to aid in ancestry estimation. Maximum length and width of over 700 dental casts (both maxillary and mandibular) were recorded and statistically analyzed by one-way ANOVA. Measurements were taken using points on teeth rather than on the fragile bone of the maxilla and mandible. It was found that ancestry does affect the size of the maxillary arch but not the mandibular one, but discriminant function analysis showed that ancestry estimation is not possible with the present set of data for either the maxilla or the mandible. Further research will need to be conducted with larger sample sizes of certain populations in order to improve ancestry estimation using this method.