Dental wear in the Libben population: its functional pattern and role in the determination of adult skeletal age at death

Am J Phys Anthropol. 1985 Sep;68(1):47-56. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.1330680105.


Modal patterns of occlusal attrition are presented for the Libben population based on a sample of 332 adult dentitions. Maxillas and mandibles were reviewed independently by seriation prior to assessment of complete dentitions. The Spearman rank order coefficient for upper and lower dentitions was .96. Wear patterns are very similar to those reported by Murphy (1959a: Am. J. Phys. Anthropol. 17:167-178) for Australian aborigines. There were no significant sexual differences in wear rate. Dental wear is concluded to be a highly reliable and important indicator of adult age at death for skeletal populations if seriation procedures are employed.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Determination by Skeleton*
  • Age Determination by Teeth
  • Age Factors
  • Aging
  • Child
  • Death*
  • Dentition*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American*
  • Male
  • Mandible / growth & development
  • Maxilla / growth & development
  • Middle Aged
  • Oceanic Ancestry Group
  • Ohio
  • Paleontology
  • Sex Factors