Introducing molaR: a New R Package for Quantitative Topographic Analysis of Teeth (and Other Topographic Surfaces)


Journal Article

© 2016, Springer Science+Business Media New York. Researchers studying mammalian dentitions from functional and adaptive perspectives increasingly have moved towards using dental topography measures that can be estimated from 3D surface scans, which do not require identification of specific homologous landmarks. Here we present molaR, a new R package designed to assist researchers in calculating four commonly used topographic measures: Dirichlet Normal Energy (DNE), Relief Index (RFI), Orientation Patch Count (OPC), and Orientation Patch Count Rotated (OPCR) from surface scans of teeth, enabling a unified application of these informative new metrics. In addition to providing topographic measuring tools, molaR has complimentary plotting functions enabling highly customizable visualization of results. This article gives a detailed description of the DNE measure, walks researchers through installing, operating, and troubleshooting molaR and its functions, and gives an example of a simple comparison that measured teeth of the primates Alouatta and Pithecia in molaR and other available software packages. molaR is a free and open source software extension, which can be found at the doi:10.13140/RG.2.1.3563.4961 (molaR v. 2.0) as well as on the Internet repository CRAN, which stores R packages.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Pampush, JD; Winchester, JM; Morse, PE; Vining, AQ; Boyer, DM; Kay, RF

Published Date

  • December 1, 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 23 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 397 - 412

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1064-7554

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1007/s10914-016-9326-0

Citation Source

  • Scopus