Intra- and interobserver concordance in classifying dental morphology

Am J Phys Anthropol. 1986 Mar;69(3):299-315. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.1330690303.


A sample of 50 Kodiak Island Eskimo dental casts were observed, using standard reference plaques, three times by one observer and once by a second observer, for 47 graded and discrete morphological characters of the dentition and jaws. Although the frequency of both intra- and interobserver scoring differences between observation sessions are relatively high for some characters, statistical analysis reveals that differences are largely random in direction and cancel out. Most dental morphological variants can be observed in a ranked fashion with adequate within- and between-observer reliability. However, four traits present both within- and between-observer difficulties: the tuberculum dentale, the canine distal accessory ridge, marginal accessory cusps of the upper first premolar, and the anterior fovea on the lower first molar.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Alaska
  • Humans
  • Inuits*
  • Jaw / anatomy & histology*
  • Tooth / anatomy & histology*