Volume 35, Issue 4 (July 1990)
A Discriminant Function Analysis of Deciduous Teeth to Determine Sex
Studies of deciduous teeth have concluded that crown size differences in these teeth between males and females are not reliable sex discriminators, in contrast to such differences in permanent teeth. This study measured the mesiodistal and faciolingual crown diameters of all deciduous teeth, as well as those of the permanent first molars, of 162 children from the Burlington Orthodontic Growth Study, conducted earlier in Burlington, Ontario, Canada. All 40 deciduous tooth diameters (20 mesiolingual and 20 faciolingual) were significantly different between the sexes, as were the permanent tooth diameters. Using three to five measurements of deciduous teeth, discriminant analyses of several samplings of these children produced discriminant functions in which 76 to 90% of the holdout samples were correctly classified by sex. Combinations of deciduous and permanent measurements were used to classify 83 to 85% of the holdout samples correctly. When compared with published data on other sample populations, the Burlington group is the most dimorphic for deciduous teeth and is within the range of permanent tooth dimorphisms of other populations. The level of classification accuracy, when using discriminant analysis of the deciduous teeth, can approach the accuracy levels of analysis using the permanent teeth.