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Br Dent J. 2008 Feb 23;204(4):E7; discussion 192-3. doi: 10.1038/bdj.2008.21. Epub 2008 Jan 18.

Dental age assessment (DAA): a simple method for children and emerging adults.

Author information

1
King's College London Dental Institute, Bessemer Road, London, SE5 9RS. graham.j.roberts@kcl.ac.uk

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Methods of dental age assessment (DAA) give a wide margin of error and, because third molars are usually excluded, prevent estimation around the age of 18 years. This study extends the use of defined tooth development stages (TDSs) to include third molars.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS:

Re-use of dental panoramic tomographs (DPTs) and other X-rays taken for clinical use comprised the sample of 1,547 subjects. The radiographic images were then captured in digital format. The TDSs were assessed and the estimated mean age and its standard error were calculated for each TDS. The mathematical technique of meta-analysis was used to provide an estimate of the mean age, with 99% confidence interval, of a new 'test' subject. To assess the accuracy of the method, each of these mean values was then compared with the gold standard of chronological age.

RESULTS:

On average, estimated dental age (DA) over-estimated chronological age (CA) by 0.29 years, approximately 3(1/2) months. The maximum likely difference between the estimated DA and CA was 1.65 years.

CONCLUSION:

Estimation of dental age using well defined TDSs, extended to include third molars and combined with the statistical technique of meta-analysis, provides investigators with a rapid and accurate estimation of age.

Comment in

PMID:
18200067
DOI:
10.1038/bdj.2008.21
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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