Document Type


Date of Degree

Spring 2011

Degree Name

MS (Master of Science)

Degree In


First Advisor

Thomas E. Southard


The purpose of this pilot study was to develop a method to quantify the surface area of interproximal wear facets present in the human dentition. Another aim was to investigate the reliability of this method and possible correlations between the amount of interproximal tooth wear and vertical craniofacial morphology. The study was carried out on 24 adolescent individuals immediately prior to orthodontic treatment. Following interproximal contact separation of one week, interproximal impressions were taken with polyvinyl siloxane and a positive stone model was fabricated with type IV dental stone. The model of the wear facet was imaged using a computer-operated optical scanner and the border of the wear facet was digitally traced. From the digital tracing, the surface area of the wear facet was calculated. The intra-observer reliability of this method showed a strong agreement in repeated measurements, however the inter-observer reliability revealed some statistically significant differences between two examiners. The limited sample size could not reveal a significant relationship between interproximal tooth wear and vertical craniofacial morphology. This study serves as a proof of concept study from which further in vitro and in vivo research can be conducted to better understand the relationship between masticatory input (as measured by interproximal wear) and craniofacial morphology.


viii, 76 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 74-76).


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Copyright 2011 Nicholas R. Smith