Maxillary canine teeth as supplement tool in sex determination

  • DEO Eboh
  • MO Etetafia


Sexual dimorphism refers to those differences in size, stature and appearance between male and female that can be applied to dental identification because no two mouths are alike and dentitions are as individual as fingerprints. Among primates, sexual dimorphism in the size of permanent teeth is usually greatest for the canine tooth, that of the male exceeding that of the female. The purpose of this study was to determine the usefulness of maxillary canine index in predicting sex in the Nigerian Niger-Delta population. The study subjects consisted of 50 males and 51 females of Niger-Delta origin in the age group 17-25 years. Maxillary impressions for all subjects were taken in alginate impression material. Study models were prepared immediately in dental stone to prevent dimensional change. Apart from the inter-canine distance and the left mesio-distal crown width which exhibited statistically significant differences, other parameters as measured for males and females when compared were found to be statistically not significant. The mean values of the maxillary canine indices were greater in males than in females, but the differences were not statistically significant. The maxillary canine index showed no significant sexual dimorphism. This study revealed that the ability to determine sex using the maxillary canine index is poor. As the maxillary inter-canine distance and the left mesio-distal crown width were the only parameters which exhibited statistically significant differences, when compared for males and females, the maxillary canine can be used as a supplement tool in sex determination.

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1596-6569