Sexual Dimorphism Within Dental Microstructure




Aldeeb, Sara
Handler, Emma


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Purpose: A general pattern of sexual dimorphism is displayed across humans. Many males generally have a larger body than females. This dynamic has also been demonstrated within the oral cavity. For example, on average, many males have larger teeth than females. However, despite clear gross dental size differences, some studies have suggested that males and females also exhibit divergent quantities of enamel. This study aims to contribute to the growing body of evidence suggesting sexual dimorphism exists in the microstructure of human dentition. Moreover, this study will develop a protocol for sectioning human dentition in order to quantify enamel and dentin volumes using computerized tomography (CT) scans. Methods: Skeletal CT scans from adult subjects were loaded onto 3D slicer; a 3D visualization software. The CT scans were digitally segmented to measure volumetric areas of dental microstructure within each tooth bilaterally. Results: Measurable differences are present in gross dental size and quantities of dental microstructure between sexes. Preliminary data has demonstrated that males exhibit less relative enamel compared to females. A protocol for sectioning human dentition in order to quantify microstructure volumes utilizing CT scans was also generated. Conclusion: Sexual dimorphism exists not only in the size of human teeth but also within their enamel substrate. This protocol will aid future studies in a guided protocol to continue to grow evidence of sexual dimorphism within the oral cavity.