Attending to the need of complete our knowledge about immature dentition, and since most of the time the deciduous teeth are disregarded, the Dental Anthropology Group (GAD) and the Scientific Culture and Innovation Unit (UCC+i) of the National Research Centre on Human Evolution (CENIEH) in Burgos, organized the first campaign to collect deciduous teeth in 2014. Since then, the campaigns have been carried out every year without interruption. Yearly, members of the GAD are in charge of collecting the teeth and registering all the relevant information from the donors at the time of collection, guaranteeing their anonymity and confidentiality (BOE-A-2007-12945). When the donors give the tooth/teeth, they fill out a “Donor Information Form” with important data for future research. In addition, since most of the donors are underage, parents or legal representative have to sign an “Informed Consent Form” after receiving all the information about the collection project.
Currently, the reference collection -managed by the Collections Department of the CENIEH and whose previous treatment has been carried out in the Conservation and Restoration Laboratory- comprises more than 3600 dental pieces, mostly from Spanish children, although there are also from France, India, China, Russia, Dominican Republic, Netherlands, Australia and Mexico.
At present, from the overall collection we have processed 2157 deciduous teeth from both sexes and with ages of tooth loss between 2 and 15 years. The upper central incisors are the best represented tooth (15.39%), followed by the lower second incisors (15.30%); while the lower second molars (5.98%) are the least numerous. The male sample is represented by a 46.36% (n=1000) and the female by a 43.58% (n=940), with 10.06% (n=217) indeterminate. The indeterminate corresponds to donors that did not provide such information as teeth belonging to different individuals were mixed in the same bag.
In the particular case of teeth, the use of micro-computed tomography (microCT) has allowed maximizing the biological information that can be obtained from them in a non-destructive way (Martínez de Pinillos et al., 2020; Martín-Francés et al., 2020). At the moment, 798 teeth have been scanned with a microCT Phoenix v/tome/xs of GE Measurement, housed at the CENIEH.