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Forensic Sci Int. 2006 May 15;159 Suppl 1:S74-7. Epub 2006 Mar 10.

Reproducibility of radiographic stage assessment of third molars.

Author information

1
Paediatric Dentistry, Dental Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Turner Street, London E1 2AD, United Kingdom.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine intra- and inter-observer variability of the developing third molar from panoramic radiographs. Formation of third molars was assessed according to stages described by modified Demirjian et al.'s methods: Moorrees et al. [C.F.A. Moorrees, E.A. Fanning, E.E. Hunt, Age variation of formation stages for ten permanent teeth, J. Dent. Res. 42 (1963) 1490-1502] and Solari and Abramovitch [A.C. Solari, K. Abramovitch, The accuracy and precision of third molar development as an indicator of chronological age in Hispanics, J. Forensic Sci. 47 (2002) 531-535]; in addition, data were also analysed unmodified, i.e. Haavikko [K. Haavikko, The formation and alveolar and clinical eruption of the permanent teeth, an orthopantomograph study, Proc. Finn. Dent. Soc. 66 (1970) 104-170] and Demirjian et al. [A. Demirjian, H. Goldstein, J.M. Tanner, A new system of dental age assessment, Hum. Biol. 45 (1973) 211-227]. The sample was a random selection of 73 panoramic radiographs from patients aged 8-24 years. After training, the left maxillary and mandibular third molars were scored on two separate occasions without knowledge of previous scores. Cohen's Kappa and percentage agreement were calculated for each method, for maxillary, for mandibular third molars and combined. Percentage agreement for stages was also calculated. Intra-observer agreement was greater for mandibular third molars compared to maxillary third molars, and better for methods with fewer stages. Kappa values indicated good agreement for most methods; the best was Demirjian et al.'s method for mandibular third molar with very good agreement (K = 0.80) for the first author, good agreement for the second author (K = 0.75) and good agreement between observers (K = 0.75). The stages with best agreement were Demirjian's stage E [A. Demirjian, H. Goldstein, J.M. Tanner, A new system of dental age assessment, Hum. Biol. 45 (1973) 211-227] and Moorrees et al.'s stage Cc and R1/4 [C.F.A. Moorrees, E.A. Fanning, E.E. Hunt, Age variation of formation stages for ten permanent teeth, J. Dent. Res. 42 (1963) 1490-1502].

CONCLUSIONS:

Having clearly defined stages and fewer stages allowed better reproducibility of third molar formation.

PMID:
16530998
DOI:
10.1016/j.forsciint.2006.02.020
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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