Document Type



Crowns of deciduous teeth have received special attention from anthropologists but very little was known about their roots, for the obvious reason that suitable material was scarce. In the early years of the New Zealand School Dental Service, many unsaveable deciduous teeth were extracted with mostly unresorbed roots. These presented a unique opportunity for their study. Consideration is given first to what kind of information is needed, and then to the manner of its presentation. Within apparent normality, variation is considerable. Using a camera lucida, many enlarged outlines of each of the four molars were drawn to present their morphology accurately. Designation of teeth, and of details of relevant features, by symbols and by distinctive markings, presents all necessary information clearly. In addition to developmental morphological variation in anatomical features, there is much information concerning root resorption. This is shown to vary in style and pattern as well as in degree. Description of variety in morphology and in resorption effects is accompanied by reference to their significance for the clinician. Finally, there is consideration of uncommon features which should be of special interest to both clinician and dental anthropologist.