Prehistoric dentistry? P4 rotation, partial M3 impaction, toothpick grooves and other signs of manipulation in Karpina Dental Person 20

Bibliographic Collection: 
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Frayer, DW
Editors: Gatti, J; Monge, JM; Davorka, R
Year of Publication: 2017
Journal: Bull Int Assoc Paleodont
Volume: 11
Issue: 1
Pagination: 1-10
Date Published: 06/2017
Publication Language: eng

Aims: We describe four associated mandibular teeth, left P4 – M3, which show a number of features consistent with a diagnosis that toothpick grooves and other dental manipulations were associated with treating multiple eruption abnormalities. Materials and Methods: The four isolated teeth making up Krapina Dental Person (KDP) 20 were analyzed by eye and with a light microscope to document occlusal wear, toothpick groove formation, ante mortem enamel, dentin scratches and lingual fractures. Results: Definitive, stage 4 toothpick grooves (1) occur on all four teeth, but are especially marked on both mesial and distal faces of the left P4 (tooth #32) and the mesial face of the left M1 (tooth #82). Less distinct interproximal grooves, defined as stage 2 striations, appear on the distal face of left M1, distal lingual edge of M2 (tooth #3) and the mesial face of M3 (tooth #8). The left P4 also shows signs of dental probing on the mesial buccal cusp and all four teeth have fractures on their lingual margins. These features are associated with malpositioned left P4 and a left M3 with lingual rotation and a crown that is partially impacted. The M3’s buccal face occupies an occlusal position and shows considerable wear, indicating it was in approximation with the upper dentition. Conclusion: The anomalous dental eruption features of the P4 and M3 are associated with several kinds of dental manipulations, which seem to have been palliative measures to “treat” the dental problems. We consider this a kind of “prehistoric dentistry.”

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