How Anthropology Informs the Orthodontic Diagnosis of Malocclusion’s Causes

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Since shortly after the Western beginning of a recognized specialty of orthodontics, dentistry scholars have argued over the biologic causes of the disorder. From the 1960s it has been recognized that in industrialized and affluent Euro-American populations there is a veritable epidemic of malocclusion. Causes have been debated from the early days. This volume summarizes the voluminous literature, history of orthodontic etiologic thinking, related disorders, worldwide and time-successive human comparisons, and the all-important experimental investigations pointing to chewing exercise resulting from resistant foods as the chief culprit.


“Why is malocclusion so positively correlated with industrial progress? Reading Dr. Corruccini’s text is a stimulating way to find out. . . Dr. Corruccini’s review of the pertinent animal, hominid, and human literature is relevant and, fortunately, not exhaustive. . . . This text is an excellent resource for orthodontists who want to explore the deep anthropological reasons for the prevalence of malocclusion. It can be an invigorating intellectual exercise, and I recommend it to those who are so inclined.” – John J. Sheridan, DDS, MSD in Journal of Clinical Orthodontics

“The questions whether genetic factors or environmental factors may be the primary agents causing dentofacial maldevelopment has been widely discussed in the past. The anthropological studies of Robert s. Corruccini, the author of the present book, are a major contribution to finding the answer to this question. . . . of high clinical importance which may establish an etiologic framework for improving the diagnosis and treatment of orofacial maldevelopment and, hence, develop our discipline toward a subspecialty of orthopedics, toward a real branch of medicine.” – Rolf Fränkel

Table of Contents

Table of contents:
1. Introduction: The Earliest Orthodontics – The Classic Etruscans; World Patterns in Occlusion; Gene-Based Thinking; Good Occlusion is ‘Natural’; What Precontemporary and Contemporary Textbooks in Orthodontics Say; The Oldness of the Idea Concerning Masticatory Exercise; the Idea Reintroduced – Klatsky and Fisher
2. A Methodology for Comparative Occlusal Studies
3. Studies on Occlusal Variation in Varied Human Populations: The Rural Kentucky Study; Punjab Studies; Chinese Immigrants to Liverpool; Melanesian Populations; Studies on Pima Indians; A Peripheral Topic – Premature Deciduous Tooth Loss; Bengali Youths; World Populations; Sedentizing Australian Aboriginals; Synthesis
4. Correlative Studies: Epidemiological Transition in Minor Diseases; Chronic Allergy and Oral Breathing; Bite Force Studies; Visual Defects and Refractive Error; the Epidemiological Transition in Genetic Variance and Heritability
5. Effect of Interproximal Attrition – The Begg Concept: Testing Begg’s Theory; The Amount of Tooth Substance Lost
6. Experiments Using Non-Human Animals: The Experimental Study on Rats; Squirrel Monkey Experiments; The Study on Baboons
7. Genetics and Twins: Twin Studies; American Twins; Indian Twins; Australian Twins and an Inclusive Comparison; How Much do Genes Tell Us?
Bibliography, Name Index

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