Term of Award

Winter 1997

Degree Name

Master of Science

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Committee Chair

David D. Gantt

Committee Member 1

Ann E. Pratt

Committee Member 2

David Rostal


A metric study of the neonatal line in enamel was conducted to determine if the position of this line could be accurately predicted by calcification times. The neonatal line is believed to represent a birth disturbance in enamel formation. This disturbance, when seen in thin sections in transmitted light, appears as an optically brown line which runs through the enamel. In order to calculate the position of the neonatal line relative to the pre- and postnatal enamel, measurements were taken of the position of the neonatal line at the cusp tips, the first formed enamel. Thin sections of both deciduous and permanent first molar teeth were used in this investigation. Calcification charts were used to establish the onset and duration of crown formation together with the enamel growth rate of 4 micrometers per day to calculate the predicted location of the neonatal line. Comparisons were then made between the actual measurements obtained from the thin sections to the predicted values reported in the literature. Statistical analysis was conducted to test the hypothesis that standard calcification times based on enamel formation rate of 4 urn per day could be used to determine the position of the neonatal line. Statistical analyses demonstrate a significant difference between the measured and predicted position of the neonatal line. Based on these results, it was concluded that calcification charts do not accurately reflect the timing of calcification.

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