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An Anthropological Investigation of the Sociocultural and Economic Forces Shaping Dental Crowding Prevalence

NCJ Number
Archives of Oral Biology Volume: 147 Dated: March 2023
Dori E. Kenessey; Tatiana Vlemincq-Mendieta; G. Richard Scott; Marin A. Pilloud
Date Published
March 2023

This article details a study into an anthropological approach to identify differences in dental crowding prevalence unique to country of origin and social race categories.


The aim of the current study is to explore country of origin and social race category differences in dental crowding prevalence through an anthropological approach. Data were collected from individuals within five countries (Australia, China, Japan, South Africa, United States; n = 1008) and seven social race groups in two countries (American Black, American White, Latinx, and Indigenous in the United States, South African Black, South African White, and South African Coloured; n = 654). Statistical significance between groups was assessed with a Kruskal-Wallis test, while a Dunn’s post-hoc test identified which groups significantly differed. Results indicate South Africa is characterized by the lowest frequencies of dental crowding, with Coloured South Africans yielding the highest and Black South Africans displaying the lowest frequencies. Individuals in the United States exhibited relatively high levels of minor dental crowding. American Blacks had lower crowding levels, while the Indigenous group had high levels of severe crowding. Individuals within China and Japan exhibited higher relative prevalence of severe crowding. Overall, significant differences exist in dental crowding prevalence across countries and social race categories using an anthropological grading system to assess crowding. These differences are likely impacted by sociocultural (aesthetic preferences) and economic (access to dental care) factors. (Published Abstract Provided)