Scanning Microscopy


Description and analysis of the complex structure of enamel can be facilitated through the application of a system of hierarchical levels of structural complexity. Five interdependent levels are distinguished. These are the levels of:

1) crystallites,

2) prisms,

3) enamel types,

4) schmelzmuster, and

5) dentition.

This system provides a basis for analysis of both variation of particular structures and variation of structural types throughout a mammal's dentition. Optimally, in wide ranging systematic and biomechanical studies, all levels of structural complexity should be considered, but lack of information about one level does not prevent significant analyses at other levels.

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