Dental topographic analysis of the molar teeth of primates

Zachary S. Klukkert, John C. Dennis, Francis M'Kirera, Peter S. Ungar

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Scopus citations


The study of tooth form is informative about the relationship between teeth and the material properties of foods consumed. Studies of dental functional morphology depend on precise characterization of relevant aspects of crown form; the occlusal surfaces of primate molar teeth are studied in 3-dimensional space more and more commonly today. Dental topographic analysis is becoming an increasingly popular method for studying tooth form, given its ability to characterize functionally relevant aspects of tooth form from an entire occlusal surface. This landmark-free approach has been especially valuable in studies of the effects of tooth wear on shape. Mean slope and relief, for example, have been found to be informative about the function of molar teeth in both living and extinct primates. Instructions for the use of this approach are provided here.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationForensic Microscopy for Skeletal Tissues
Subtitle of host publicationMethods and Protocols
EditorsLynne S. Bell
Number of pages8
StatePublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameMethods in Molecular Biology
ISSN (Print)1064-3745


  • 3D morphology
  • GIS
  • Tooth function
  • Tooth shape
  • molar morphology
  • Methods
  • tooth wear


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