Sex- and Age-related Differences in Primary and Secondary Dentin Formation Academic Article uri icon


  • Clinical studies carried out on dentin thickness in adults, as well as experimental studies carried out on ovariectomized animals, indicate that odontoblast activity, like that of osteoblastic cells, differs in the two sexes. To examine the evidence for differences in odontoblast activity before puberty, we have measured dentin thickness and other crown dimensions from bitewing radiographs of the lower first molars in 240 children aged 4-16 years. The radiographs were obtained from pedodontic clinics throughout Israel. Only teeth without caries or fillings were used, and the study population had minimal attrition. The results showed that dentin thickness, measured on the roof of the pulp chamber, was significantly greater in boys than in girls at all ages, and that the differences increased during puberty. The differences remained highly significant even when standardized for crown size. They demonstrate that dimorphism in dentin thickness is present even in the earliest stages of odontogenesis and increase with puberty.

publication date

  • September 1, 2001