Sexual dimorphism in the enamel-dentine junction (EDJ) of permanent canines of European modern humans

Objectives Dental anthropological investigations into sexual dimorphism have conventionally concentrated on evaluating the dimensions and configuration of the enamel cap of canines. However, the morphology of the crown dentine surface can be closely linked to that of the enamel surface. This link can facilitate examination of crown morphology even when the enamel surface is slightly worn. Here, we determine if the morphology of the enamel-dentine junction (EDJ) differs within (maxillary vs. mandibular) and between a sample of male (n = 26) and female (n = 21) contemporary human permanent canines from Europe. Methods The morphological data of the EDJ were gathered employing a template comprising 96 landmarks and sliding semilandmarks. Subsequently, the data underwent analysis through form space principal component analysis following Procrustes registration, utilizing standard 3D geometric morphometric techniques. Results Significant differences in the morphology of the EDJ were observed between the sexes, particularly concerning the overall shape of the crown, the symmetry of the mesial and distal edges, and the development of the distal accessory ridge. Conclusions Sex differences in the morphology of the EDJ could relate in part to retention of the canine-premolar honing complex in males. Our results indicate that analyses of the permanent canine EDJ may potentially provide a novel method for estimating the sex of adult and nonadult skeletons.