Research Topic

Proximate and ultimate causation of tooth shape and dental replacement

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About this Research Topic

Tooth morphogenesis and dental replacement are two key factors allowing vertebrate species to have and keep functional teeth and are thus at the heart of many studies. Dental shape, tooth raw arrangement and dental replacement constitute ideal topics for integrative studies combining functional, developmental ...

Tooth morphogenesis and dental replacement are two key factors allowing vertebrate species to have and keep functional teeth and are thus at the heart of many studies. Dental shape, tooth raw arrangement and dental replacement constitute ideal topics for integrative studies combining functional, developmental and genetic causation of shape diversity among vertebrates. During the past decades, the use of precise shape descriptors reveal how subtle modifications of crown shape or enamel deposition can have a major impact on dental function. Individual tooth shape is entirely set up during development, which still has to be carefully investigated to bring new data on the basis of important features such as cusps, crests, crown/root transition and setting up of the replacement dentition. Better understanding the genetic basis of dental morphogenesis through mutagenesis experiment in model organisms has also been proved to be a very effective way to understand some rare genetic diseases known in human patients. Although many genes are known to be involved in dental morphogenesis and replacement, their precise roles are still widely unknown and many efforts are currently made to fill this gap.
Screening the natural diversity of dental shape and replacement pattern and hunting for artificial ways to replace or regenerate the dentition together constitute a topical challenge of dental research for the coming years. In this Research Topic, we welcome researchers from the dental studies communities to propose new prospective models for the study of dental shape and replacement in vertebrates, and discuss how the formation of tooth-specific hard tissues depends on a perfect manipulation of stem cells and requires a synergy of cellular and molecular events.

We encourage the submission of original research reports, review articles, commentaries, or perspectives, in the following topics (but not limited to):
- New tools for tooth shape description and quantification
- Genetic control of tooth shape and dentition arrangement
- Functional significance of dental morphologies
- Cellular and molecular mechanisms of dental replacement in vertebrates;
- Stem cells and tissue engineering for dental regeneration.


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