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J Korean Acad Pediatr Dent. 2007;34(3): 532-542.
EVOLUTION OF HUMAN DENTITION
Kwang-Hee Lee
Department of Pediatric Dentistry, College of Dentistry, Wonkwang University
Corresponding Author: Kwang-Hee Lee ,Tel: 063-859-2955, Email: kwhlee@wonkwang.ac.kr
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ABSTRACT
The purpose of study was to review the transition of dentition according to the evolution of man to know the background of the dental problems like hypodontia and malocclusion. Man is Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Chordata, Class Mammalia, Order Primates, Suborder Haplorrhini, Superfamily Hominoidea, Family Hominidae, Genus Homo, Species Sapiens by taxonomy. The first hominid was Australopithecus which appeared c. 4 millions of years ago and showed bipedalism and distinct dentition. Homos began with H. habilis who appeared c. 2.5 millions of years ago and made stone tools, and then H. erectus and H. neanderthalensis appeared and disappeared until H. sapiens came. The dental formula of primitive mammalians which was I3 C1 P4 M3 changed to I2 C1 P4 M3 of primitive primates, to I2 C1 P3 M3 of Haplorrhini, and to I2 C1 P2 M3 of hominoids. That of H. sapiens is changing to I2 C1 P2 M2.The box type dentition of hominoids changed to the omega type dentition of Australopithecus, and to the parabolic type of H. sapiens. The size of teeth decreased continually, especially the canine and sexual dimorphism. The dentition moved backward and downward to the cranial crown according to the increase of the brain and decrease of the jaws. It was suggested that the change of diet to the starchy foods, food processing, and the development of cooking reduced the necessity of mastication and caused the change of dentition. The future of H. sapiens who is quite a new species in the earth histroy and is now causing the mass extinction of other species is hard to see. It seems that hypodontia and malocclusion are related to the dentition change according to the evolution of man and is likely to increase.
Keywords: Evolution | Dentition | Hypodontia | Malocclusion
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