Prof. Rachel Sarig

Prof. Rachel Sarig



Associate Professor, Head of the Maurice and Gabriela Goldschleger School of Dental Medicine, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Tel Aviv University.

Researcher, Shmunis Family Anthropology Institute, the Dan David Center for Human Evolution and Biohistory Research, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, Tel Aviv University..

Dan David Center for Human Evolution and Biohistory Research.

Shmunis Family Antrhopology Institute.


Facial and Dental Anthropology:
Evolutionary aspects in physiological and pathological processes in human dentition

Many of the current oral diseases and malformations have their roots in our evolutionary history. Knowing the evolutionary processes that led to the current shape and size of our skull and mandible may greatly bear on our understanding of phenomena such as malocclusions (i.e., crowding, rotation, overbite), dental malformations ( i.e. impaction, missing and supernumerary teeth) and oral diseases (caries, attrition, periodontal diseases). Treatment strategy should take into consideration evolutionary reasoning involved in shaping our face and jaws, ignoring them may end, in the long run, in treatments’ failure.

Understanding the evolutionary constrains that have acted through time on our masticatory system may help us planning and establishing better treatment strategies. Long-term evolutionary processes such as decrease in jaws and teeth size, higher prevalence of impacted teeth and the loss of teeth in the arch, are all important factors that should be considered.

 The group main interest is the investigation of dental anthropology, dental biomechanics and the masticatory system. The study of the masticatory apparatus is conducted both in prehistoric and modern societies using laboratory models, microCT scans and clinical studies:

Determining the origin of modern humans – development and migration

Evolution of human health, the origin of diseases and medical treatment

Dynamics of human demographics

Osteology, biological anthropology and the study of human culture




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