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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 262-268

Determination of physical height from crown dimensions of deciduous tooth: A dental morphometric study

1 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Dr. Shamala Reddy Dental College Hospital and Research Institute, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Former Lecturer, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Mangalore, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Oral Pathology, Manipal University, Manipal, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication25-Jul-2016

Correspondence Address:
C Ramanna
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Dr. Shamala Reddy Dental College Hospital and Research Institute, Munnekolala, Marathahalli, Bengaluru - 560 037, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-4388.186743

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Background: Dental morphometrics is a subject of great significance in forensic odontology in identification of an individual. Use of teeth to represent a physical profile is valuable for identification of an individual. Aims and Objectives: The present study aims to assess the clinical crown length (CL) of erupted deciduous teeth and height of the child. A correlation of these parameters was attempted to arrive at a mathematical equation which would formulate a ratio of tooth CL to individual height that would support in estimating the probable height of the child. Materials and Methods: About 60 children (30 males and 30 females) of age ranged from 3–6 years were included in this study. Clinical vertical CLs of the deciduous dentition (tooth numbers 51, 52, 53, 54, and 55) were calculated using digital Vernier calipers (Aerospace Ltd., Bengaluru, Karnataka, India) on the cast models. Child height was measured using a standard measuring tape. Ratios of deciduous CL to height of the child were recorded. Linear stepwise forward regression analysis was applied to predict the probability of CL of a tooth most likely to support in prediction of physical height of the child. Results: Tabulated results showed a probable correlation between tooth CL and height of the child. Tooth CLs of deciduous upper right second molar (55) among the males, lateral incisor (52) among females, and canine (53) using the combined male and female data were statistically significant, and they approximately predicted the child height with minimal variations. Mathematically derived equations based on linear stepwise forward regression analysis using sixty children data are height prediction (derived from combined data of male and female children) = 400.558 + 90.264 (53 CL), male child height prediction (derived from data of male children) = 660.290 + 72.970 (55 CL), and female child height prediction (derived from data of female children) = −187.942 + 194.818 (52 CL). Conclusion: In conclusion, clinical vertical CL is an important parameter in prediction of individual height and possible identification of the individual. An extension of the similar technique to all the deciduous dentition using a larger group of children would probably give us the best options available among vertical CLs for prediction of the child height.

Keywords: Clinical crown length, deciduous teeth, individual height, physical profile

How to cite this article:
Ramanna C, Kamath VV, Sharada C, Srikanth N. Determination of physical height from crown dimensions of deciduous tooth: A dental morphometric study. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent 2016;34:262-8

How to cite this URL:
Ramanna C, Kamath VV, Sharada C, Srikanth N. Determination of physical height from crown dimensions of deciduous tooth: A dental morphometric study. J Indian Soc Pedod Prev Dent [serial online] 2016 [cited 2023 Feb 4];34:262-8. Available from: http://www.jisppd.com/text.asp?2016/34/3/262/186743

   Introduction Top

In genetics, anthropological, odontogenic, and forensic investigations teeth form an excellent resource of clinical study material in living and nonliving populations.[1],[2] Teeth are used in person identification during medicolegal issues and also in personal identification in natural and human-made disaster situations and in mass casualties such as aviation disasters as teeth are resistant to such disasters.[1],[2]

Dental morphometrics is a quantitative analysis of form a concept that encompasses size and shape of teeth. Estimation of physical profile from dental morphometrics has been a subject of great interest in forensic odontology. Various studies have being attempted in determination of physical height using permanent tooth morphometrics in the past. The parameters used were tooth length, crown length (CL), mesiodistal width, and tooth labiolingual width, and correlation with the facial measurements has being attempted in the past.

Sterrett et al. attempted a correlation of the width, length, and width/length ratios of maxillary anterior sextant permanent dentition of Caucasians to the height of the individual. He could not find any statistically significant correlation between tooth dimensions and subject height.[3] Jayawardena et al. conducted a study in Sri Lankan Sinhalese individuals to find the association between tooth length and stature using permanent maxillary central and lateral incisors. There was no significant association between stature and incisor tooth lengths.[4] On the contrary, Prabhu et al. evaluated tooth crown dimensions such as buccolingual and mesiodistal dimensions of all teeth necessary for stature prediction. According to his correlation analysis, tooth crown variables had a low statistically significant correlation to stature.[5]

Surprisingly, no studies have been attempted in the past to determine the height of a child using deciduous teeth. The present study endeavors to establish a mathematical correlation between clinical vertical CL and height of the child. In this study, we have tried to ascertain whether a statistical relationship exists between these two parameters with an aim to predict body height from tooth CL, using linear stepwise forward regression analysis. The knowledge and assessment of the correlation established through the mathematical form are utilized to draw a physical profile identity kit that would assist in predicting the probable height of the subject.

   Materials and Methods Top

The study group comprises 60 children with 30 males and 30 females. The age group in children ranged between 3 and 6 years considering the fact that all the deciduous teeth would be erupted in these age groups.

The inclusion criteria in children are:

  • Healthy state of teeth, gingiva, and periodontium
  • Presence of fully erupted deciduous (tooth numbers 51, 52, 53, 54, and 55)
  • Normal overjet and overbite
  • Normal molar and canine relationship
  • No interdentally spacing or crowding.

The exclusion criteria in children are:

  • Mobile deciduous teeth
  • Incompletely erupted deciduous teeth
  • Presence of gingival alteration or dental irregularities
  • Apparent loss of tooth structure due to fracture, attrition, caries, or restorations
  • Individuals presenting any characteristics altering the contour of the face and dentition.

Institutional Ethics Research Committee approval for the study was obtained. Following informed consent from parents of children, basic body parameters such as age and height were recorded. The height of the child (H) determined using a standard measuring tape and recorded in feet and converted into millimeters and entered into MS Excel Sheet. The children cast models are prepared using irreversible hydrocolloid (alginate) material and dental stone. The clinical vertical CL determined using standardized digital Vernier calipers (Aerospace Ltd., Bengaluru, Karnataka, India) and recorded in millimeters and entered into MS Excel Sheet. Ratios of CL/H are determined.

Internal and external correlation between the ratios CL/H in children is carried out by statistical analysis. Statistically, linear stepwise forward regression analysis is applied to the individual tooth to determine a mathematical equation.

   Results Top

Linear stepwise forward regression analysis

Applying linear stepwise forward regression analysis for the five set of teeth, the model summary tables and coefficient summary tables were derived as follows: 51[Table 2]a,[Table 2]b ; 52[Table 3]a,[Table 3]b ; 53[Table 4]a,[Table 4]b; 54[Table 5]a,[Table 5]b ; 55][Table 6]a,[Table 6]b.
Table 4:

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Table 5:

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Table 6:

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Individual equation: Prediction of height is done based on the individual crown length

Equation derived from combined (males + females) data for child height prediction using 51 CL = 774.963 + 38.261 (51 CL) ± standard error (SE).

   Discussion Top

It is universally acknowledged that there exists a possible relationship between the tooth dimensions and body size. In the past, various studies have being conducted using different parameters on this issue with differing results. The size of a tooth is evolutionary determined and is influenced by environmental factors. As the growth of an individual is influenced by genetic factors and his surroundings, similarly growth of a tooth is influenced by race and ethnicity. The stature of an individual may be defined as “the natural height of the human or animal in upright position.” The tooth height (vertical CL) and body height relationship is therefore interesting feature to assess as it may indicate the pattern of growth along with identification of the person.

The CL of a tooth has being used in determining the body length in anthropology. Wood [6] has previously studied the strength of covariance between tooth and body size in primate taxa of Homo, Gorilla, Pan, Colobus, and Papio. Here, the allometric coefficients for each variable were different between the taxa and their coefficients differed from the variables. Even though the findings among the four nonhuman taxa were different from the human taxa in the study, there were no specific correlations derived between body size and tooth size. In another study conducted by Shimada,[7] analysis of anatomical teeth of great white sharks was attempted, and a linear relationship between tooth crown height and total body length was proposed. This linear relationship was given as: Total length in cm = a + bx (where a - constant; b - slope of the line; x - CL of the labial surface of the tooth). This became a common formula among anthropologists and paleontologists used in measuring body length of sharks. The application of this formula to humans is yet to be evaluated.

Previously, very few studies have been attempted using deciduous teeth. In our study, there exists a definitive predictive relationship between the clinical CL and height of an individual. This relationship seems to vary according to individual teeth.

According to the results in our study, the mean height of the child among females is 972.6533 mm with a standard deviation (SD) of 158.4848, and among males, it is 1086.408 mm with a SD 106.2683 [Table 7] and [Graph 1 [Additional file 1]]. The mean average height is more among males than females.
Table 7: Differences in male and female height, clinical crown length, and crown length/height ratios

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The mean CL of tooth numbers 51, 52, 53, 54, and 55 among males was, respectively, 6.719667, 6.048667, 7.091, 6.072667, and 5.839667, and among females, it was 6.582333, 5.957333, 6.873667, 5.903333, and 5.749667, respectively. The mean CL of all the selected teeth in this study among males was more compared to females [Table 7] and [Graph 2 [Additional file 2]]. Analysis of CL/H ratios among the five group of teeth in males and females is as shown in [Graph 3 [Additional file 3]].

Using linear stepwise forward regression analysis, the following teeth were statistically significant: (a) 53, i.e., upper right canine using the combined data (male + female measurements) with SE of estimate 135.9173726. (b) In females, it is 52, i.e., upper right lateral incisor, using female measurements with SE of the estimate of 136.0062055. (c) In males, it is 55, i.e., upper right second molar, based on male measurements with SE of the estimate of 100.7729203 [Table 1]a, [Table 1]b, and [Table 1]c.
Table 1:

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Table 2:

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Table 3:

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Derivation of mathematical equation for height prediction (H) using crown length

An example for equation derivation for height prediction using CL 51 is shown in [Table 2]b. Here, height of the child is equal to 774.963 (unstandardized coefficients of constant) plus 38.2619 (unstandardized coefficients of CL) multiplied by the CL of upper right central incisor (51 CL) and is based on the combined (male + female) data. BODMAS rule is applied for calculations. The result thus obtained can be ± SE. The final result will be in millimeters and has to be converted into feet to determine the final child height.

Similarly, using above substitution technique and unstandardized coefficients' data obtained from linear stepwise forward regression analysis, separate equations can be derived for all the teeth in this study group separately for males, females, and combined group.

The mathematical equation thus derived for statistically significant teeth are:

Equation derived from male data for male child height prediction using 55 CL = 660.290 + 72.970 (55 CL) ± SE.

Equation derived from combined (males + females) data for child height prediction using 53 CL = 400.558 + 90.264 (53 CL) ± SE.

Equation derived from female data for female child height prediction using 52 CL = −187.942 + 194.818 (52 CL) ± SE.

In summation, statistically significant correlation is very important in the portraying the profile of the individual in forensic identification. With a ready-to-reckon table of tooth CL to individual height profile, kits prepared from a larger population of different ethnic background may be drawn with more precision to help in accurate identification. Thus, an extension of similar correlation analysis for all the teeth in children using larger group will probably clarify the statistical significance and assist in determining more precise mathematical equation for height determination with fewer errors.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

   References Top

Stavrianos C, Kokkas A, Andreopoulos E, Eliades A. Application of forensic dentistry: Part-I. Res J Med Sci 2010;4:179-86.  Back to cited text no. 1
Vodanović M, Brkić H. Dental profiling in forensic sciences. Rad Hrvatske akademije znanosti i umjetnosti. Medicinske znanosti; 2012. p. 153-62.  Back to cited text no. 2
Sterrett JD, Oliver T, Robinson F, Fortson W, Knaak B, Russell CM. Width/length ratios of normal clinical crowns of the maxillary anterior dentition in man. J Clin Periodontol 1999;26:153-7.  Back to cited text no. 3
Jayawardena CK, Abesundara AP, Nanayakkara DC, Chandrasekara MS. Age-related changes in crown and root length in Sri Lankan Sinhalese. J Oral Sci 2009;51:587-92.  Back to cited text no. 4
Prabhu S, Acharya AB, Muddapur MV. Are teeth useful in estimating stature? J Forensic Leg Med 2013;20:460-4.  Back to cited text no. 5
Wood BA. An analysis of tooth and body size relationship in five primate taxa. Folia Primatol (Basel) 1979;31:187-211.  Back to cited text no. 6
Shimada K. The relationship between the tooth size and total body length in the white shark, Carcharodon carcharias (Lamniformes: Lamnidae). J Fossil Res (Japan) 2002;35:28-33.  Back to cited text no. 7


  [Table 1], [Table 2], [Table 3], [Table 4], [Table 5], [Table 6], [Table 7]

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