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J Forensic Odontostomatol. 2002 Dec;20(2):38-42.

A critique of age estimation using attrition as the sole indicator.

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Centre for Forensic Science, University of Western Australia, Crawley.


The age determination of skeletal remains has been carried out using anthropological examination of the remaining bones and dentition. The aging of the dentition is based on attrition which, if physiological will correlate with age. Occasionally the only material available is a single tooth or a few teeth, or in the case of a living person, teeth in situ. In certain cases microscopic examination of the teeth may not be possible and the age estimation is then often determined by the degree of attrition associated with the tooth. In more recent times the causes of attrition have involved other factors such as bruxism, diet, environment and medication. The weaknesses and limitations of age estimation by examination of dental attrition as the sole indicator of age are highlighted.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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