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Radiographic Determination of the Length of Maxillary and Mandibular Incisors in Rats

By C. E. Smith and H. Warshawsky


The length of rat incisors was measured radio graphically, and was constant in rats of the same weight, sex, and strain. The right and left maxillary and mandibular in-cisors were of equal length in the same rat. The mandibular incisor was consistently about 25 % longer than the maxillary incisor for all parameters measured. Despite the wide use of radiographs as a tool in dental research, they have been used infrequently in solving specific problems re-lated to the molars or incisors of the rat.1-3 This radiographic study was undertaken to answer two questions. First, could a re-producible dental radiograph be made of a rat jaw from which an accurate measure-ment of the incisor length could be obtained? Second, is the length of the incisor from dif-ferent rats of the same strain and of the same body weight equal, or is incisor length a parameter that is subject to individual variability? The data in the literature on in-cisor length were unreliable because the number of animals used and the criteria for measuring tooth length were not indicated clearly.4 Materials and Methods Twelve male Sherman rats that weighed about 100 gm each (95 ± 7 gm) were used. Before they were killed each rat was weighed and placed in a jar with ether until respira-tion ceased. The head of each rat was re-moved and the jaws were dissected, cleaned of soft tissue, and split into quadrants that were placed in 70 % ethanol. A standard dental radiographic unita and "occlusal This study was supported by a grant from the Med

Year: 1972
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