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Researchers Discover The Origin of Teeth

The following article appeared recently about new discoveries regarding the origin of teeth. With the use of 3-D scans on fossilized remains of one of the first prehistoric jawed fish, researchers were able to determine that jaws and teeth may have developed simultaneously, instead of the jaw first. More and more discoveries are being made with the use of advanced scanning abilities, which we now utilize in our office with our CBCT machine. As technology advances and more discoveries are made, in the world of dentistry we are able to apply such technologies to improve patient care. Thanks for visiting Texarkana Endodontics, and we hope you enjoy the article.

BRISTOL, UK: The evolutionary origin of dental structures is highly debated among experts. Now, a team of international scientists has found evidence that tooth-like structures were present in the first jawed vertebrates, although it had long been assumed that teeth developed later. The new findings indicate that teeth developed alongside or shortly after jaw structures.

The researchers discovered the origin of both teeth and jaws through studying fossils of Compagopiscis, one of the first prehistoric jawed fish. They performed 3-D microscopy using synchrotron X-ray tomography microscopy and were able to visualise every tissue, cell and growth line within the fish’s jaws, allowing them to study the development of the teeth, said Dr Martin Rücklin, lead author and researcher at the University of Bristol’s School of Earth Sciences.

“This technique allowed us to obtain a perfect digital model and very detailed internal views of the fossil without destroying it,” said Prof. Marco Stampanoni of the Paul Scherrer Institute, the largest research centre for natural and engineering sciences in Switzerland.

The CT scans demonstrated that some primitive fish possessed jaws with distinct dental ossifications composed of dentine and bone, the researchers said.

In contrast to the hypothesis that teeth were absent in the first jawed vertebrates and that they captured their prey with scissor-like jaw-bones, the present study suggests that the development of tooth and jaw structures was intimately interwoven.

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Topics: Technology and Research