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Anatomy for Dental Students$
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Martin E. Atkinson

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199234462

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199234462.001.0001

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Development and growth of the skull and age changes

Development and growth of the skull and age changes

(p.332) 33 Development and growth of the skull and age changes
Anatomy for Dental Students

Martin E. Atkinson

Oxford University Press

The development of the facial bones is particularly important in the fields of paediatric dentistry and orthodontics. Dental students and dental practitioners who do not specialize in those subjects should have an appreciation of the subject to be aware of the changes to the face and jaws they are seeing in patients under continuous care as they grow, mature, and age. Human beings increase in both size and complexity during the growth period which lasts from conception until maturity at about 16 to 18 years of age. As we have seen in Chapters 8, 1, 19, 21, and 32, most of the increase in complexity occurs during the pre-embryonic and embryonic phases of prenatal development although changes still occur in many organs and tissues well into post-natal life. Size increase is also rapid prenatally and continues throughout the remainder of the growth period although the growth rate changes. Changes in overall size may occur in mature individuals due to obesity or other pathological conditions but this is not growth. Growth in overall size can be studied by examining the changes with age in easily measured parameters such as height and weight. There are two ways in which such data can be presented as shown in Figure 33.1. A distance curve is the simplest method illustrated in Figure 33.1A by plotting height against age on a graph. Changes in the rate of growth are demonstrated more clearly by plotting the increment in the measurement per unit of time such as the increase in height per year against age; this is a velocity curve shown in Figure 33.1B. You can see in Figure 33.1A that height increases more rapidly around the age of 14; the velocity curve in Figure 33.1B makes the rapid growth at this age much clearer. If distance curves are plotted for different body components, the curves show specific characteristics. The overall growth of the body is accurately indicated by measures of height and weight; these measurements plotted against age produce the somatic growth curve shown in Figure 33.2. Growth is rapid in the prenatal and early post-natal period then begins to slow down after about 4 years of age.

Keywords:   achondroplasia, basicranial axis, capsular matrices, dental implants, edentulous patients, fontanelles, growth, hydrocephaly, infundibulum, jugular foramen

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