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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 65.djvu/166

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162
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

or altered; kind of fillings and location; gold crowns, bridges or artificial plates, etc. All these and other distinct features could be easily recorded with sufficient clearness to enable the record to be compared with the subject, even if dead and if only the skeleton remained, to assist materially in identification by another expert.

By way of suggesting a scheme for the tabulating of the dental peculiarities, the following plan of classification is proposed, which covers all the general features of the teeth and their environments and could be recorded by one and read by another expert dentist. This scheme is merely suggestive and could be improved by practise and experience.

Classified list of dental and oral peculiarities:

(a) Curve of arch, whether round, square or V-shape.
(b) Width of arch, in centimeters—from outside surfaces of first upper molars.
(c) Depth of vault, from grinding faces of molars.
(d) Color and texture of gums, peculiarities of ridges in roof.
(e) Size of teeth, whether large small or medium.
(f) Shape of teeth, whether wide or narrow, long or short, worn or not, etc.
(g) Color of teeth, white or dark, yellowish, bluish or modifications, etc. (This factor would be modified by time and habits, but the expert observer would estimate that.)
(h) Irregularities of the teeth, as to being out of normal place, crowding and malpositions generally.
(i) Teeth absent totally.
(j) Fillings in teeth—noting positions on crown and materials employed.
(k) Cavities of decay unfilled.
(l) Diseased teeth, dead teeth, chronic abscess, etc.
(m) Artificial teeth crowns—porcelain, gold, bridge teeth, etc.
(n) Artificial teeth on plates.
(o) Miscellaneous peculiarities—such as abrasion, pits or other congenital markings; lingual cingules; number of cusps on second lower bicuspids, upper second molars, etc.; third molars, whether present or absent; forms of crowns, etc., and all abnormal forms of teeth, etc.

Many of these characteristics might be perishable, of course, and of value only for a limited time, but others are of permanent durability and would last while the teeth themselves lasted. The perishable data would need to be taken into consideration at a later examination and a practical dentist would naturally make such allowances. The absence of some data would not always mean lack of identity, for a reasonable allowance would need to be made for perishable dental features.

A chart is shown as an example on which is recorded some of the peculiarities of an ordinary mouth according to this scheme. (Fig. 1) (a) Round square. (b) 5.8 cm. (c) 2.5 cm. (d) Gum reddish-pink; health line well marked; rugæ shallow and rather straight, (e) Medium small. (f) Rather wide and short, cusps low and rounded.