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The present results suggest that the mutilations of dental decoration were inflicted on the frontal teeth of persons more than 15 years old. In the case of incrustation, it is supposed here that this practice occurred at an age slightly above 15, while filing ocurred throughout adult life. Filing was generally preferred among the female population, while incrustation prevailed among men, although no technique or pattern was exclusive of either sex. Dental decoration is slightly more common in the female population (with a 65.81% rate of incidence, as compared with 58.02% in the male population).

Chronologically, the practice of dental decoration arose in the Preclassic and remained a widespread custom until the beginning of the Postclassic, affecting 59.62% of the population evaluated. Its regional and local prevalence varied in terms of the techniques employed, types and formal patterns, as well as materials used for incrustation. Generally, jadeite, hematite, pyrite, turquoise and different organic substances were used as obturation material. Thirty-three formal types were described, in addition to three new types discovered here that have not been described previously in anthropological literature, which bears witness to the great creativity possessed by those who practiced the custom.


Dental decoration by filing and incrustation methods; Ixtonton, Guatemala; Classic Period.