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Oral Health Topics

Anthropology and Dentistry

Key Points

  • Anthropology is the study of human variation and evolution; physical anthropology focuses on biological and anatomical aspects of human variation.
  • Dental anthropology is a branch of physical anthropology that focuses on the development, evolution, and variability of teeth and related orofacial structures.
  • Forensic odontology (or forensic dentistry) is the branch of forensic anthropology that focuses on identification and analysis of human teeth in a legal context.
  • Introduction
  • Dental Anthropology
  • Evolution of the Human Dentition
  • Anthropological Analyses of Teeth
  • ADA Policies Relating to Dental Anthropology
  • References
  • Other Resources

Last Updated: April 24, 2020

Prepared by:

Department of Scientific Information, Evidence Synthesis & Translation Research, ADA Science & Research Institute, LLC.


Content on the Oral Health Topics section of is for informational purposes only.  Content is neither intended to nor does it establish a standard of care or the official policy or position of the ADA; and is not a substitute for professional judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  ADA is not responsible for information on external websites linked to this website.