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Forensic Sci Int. 2007 Jul 4;169(2-3):161-7. Epub 2006 Oct 9.

The chronology of third molar mineralization in the Austrian population--a contribution to forensic age estimation.

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Department of Anthropology, University of Vienna, Althanstrasse 14, A-1090 Vienna, Austria.


The aim of the present study was to determine the chronology of third molar mineralization and to establish Austrian reference data. Therefore, a cross-sectional study was undertaken by evaluating 610 panoramic radiographs in order to assess the mineralization status of the mandibular third molars of Austrian male and female individuals (275 males and 335 females) between the ages of 12 and 24. The evaluation was carried out using the eight grade scheme of Demirjian et al. (1973). Mean ages, standard deviations, standard errors and percentile distributions are presented for each stage of development. Significant differences between the left and right mandibular third molars were not found. Males reach the developmental stages earlier than females, statistically significant differences were noted in stages E and F. Both mandibular third molars were observed in the majority of the individuals of the Austrian sample (477 individuals, 78.2%). For medicolegal purposes the likelihood of whether an Austrian individual is older than 18 years or not was determined.

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