Incisors

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The incisors are the front teeth. They are basically flat and have a blade-like occlusal surface. Each quadrant has two incisors.

In humans and other primates, the upper central incisor (called the I1 is typically larger, the lateral (the I2) smaller.

The lower incisors are small, spatula-shaped teeth, with central (I1) and lateral (I2) incisors approximately the same size and shape in humans and most primates.

What to do:

At this station you’ll find a series of casts of upper dentitions. Some of the incisors have ridges on their mesial and buccal edges, giving them the appearance of a scoop or shovel. These are called “shovel-shaped incisors.” This is a trait that varies in human populations, and is more common in people of Asian or Native American ancestry. The casts at this station all represent individuals in a single Native American community in Alaska.

Seriate these dentitions, in order of how shovel-shaped the central upper incisors appear to you. Once these are in the best order, consider: Does shovel-shaping of the lateral incisors (I2) go together with the central incisors?