Dental anatomy and embryology. Volume one, book two, comparison to dental studies

Dental anatomy and embryology. Volume one, book two, comparison to dental studies

234 BRITISH JOURNAL OF ORAL SURGERY Dental Anatomy and Embryology. Volume One, Book Two, Comparison to Dental Studies. A. H. R. Rowe 8~ R. B. J...

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234

BRITISH

JOURNAL

OF

ORAL

SURGERY

Dental Anatomy

and Embryology. Volume One, Book Two, Comparison to Dental Studies. A. H. R. Rowe 8~ R. B. John. Edited by Osborne, J. W., Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford,

This book is the first edition and is part of a three volume series planned to parallel the similar series of books for medical students. Volume One is a comprehensive text on the basic sciences providing an essential integrated text for the 2nd B.D.S. examination. Book Two is entirely devoted to the topics included as Special Dental Anatomy, but it does embrace topics beyond the basic course covered by most undergraduate dental students. Also, certain topics, for example, salivary glands and oral mucosa are not included because they form part of Book One. For these reasons it does not correspond to the generally accepted concept of the standard works on ‘Dental Anatomy and Embryology’. Examples of the wider scope of this book are chapters on ‘Genetics’ and ‘Evolution and Adaptation of the vertebrate mouth’. An appreciation of these topics can only contribute to a higher level of understanding and to the philosophy necessary for the practice of dentistry. The comprehensive treatment of comparative dental anatomy is justified if one accepts that a true understanding of the complexities of the human dentition is better achieved if comparison is made with other designs in vertebrates, admittedly adapted in a variety of ways different from that in man. The inclusion of comparative dental anatomy is perhaps better justified by a sentence in the preface that ‘the book probably contains enough information for students of zoology and anthropology as well as students of dentistry’. Because a large proportion of the book is devoted to comparative anatomy (25 per cent) other topics seem to be disproportionally small. For example, dentine, a topic of major importance has fewer pages devoted to it than cementum. The chapter on ‘Growth and Ageing’ brings together important basic concepts of growth, and methods of measurement as applied to the skull and dentition, and concludes with a useful account of general changes associated with advanced age. Two other chapters in which the information is arranged in a format different from the standard text book are ‘Evolution and Adaptation of the Vertebrate Mouth’, an entirely comparative account and ‘The Dentition in Function’, the majority of which iscomparative except for the last section on ageing, an account of changes in human tissues. I believe that this section would be more easily assimilated if included with general age changes or with development of the dentition. Another topic which seems to be too dispersed, because of the non-standard arrangement of material in the chapters, is the development, structure and function of the temporomandibular joint. Details of its histology, development and growth are found in four separate places. The section on histology of the young condyle is not indexed but is included in the chapter on growth and ageing. All the chapters include modern concepts of the structure and function of the tissues supported by recent information. One example is the chapter on tooth support, where the role of fibroblasts in resorption as well as synthesis of collagen is given. Controversial concepts are discussed such as the ‘intermediate plexus’ in the periodontal ligament, and the term replaced by ‘indifferent fibre plexus'with a slightly different concept of the function. However, no positive statement is made on its real function in potential reorganization of the tooth support. It has been editorial policy to have line diagrams for all illustrations and this has largely been successful, although there are rather too many diagrams of fibre groups in the periodontal ligament. The section on cementum is, however, illustrated entirely by micrographs and it, therefore, seems anomolous not to include SEM’s to illustrate the other tissues. I suspect that every student will also want an Atlas or conventional text book to use during microscopy classes. This book is certainly comprehensive and blends together structure and physiology of the dental tissues in major topic areas. On balance it is an essential book to read in addition to standard text books on the subject, in particular for enthusiasts on the development, structure and physiology of the complete range of topics related to dental anatomy. Dr MOYA MEREDITH SMITH