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Int J Legal Med. 2009 Nov;123(6):465-9. doi: 10.1007/s00414-009-0330-2. Epub 2009 Feb 25.

Dental age diagnostics by means of radiographical evaluation of the growth stages of lower wisdom teeth.

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Universität Zürich, Institut für Rechtsmedizin, Winterthurerstrasse 190/52, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland.


The main criterion for dental age estimation in living adolescents and young adults is mineralization of third molars. A total of 1,260 orthopantomograms of 669 female and 591 male subjects aged between 15 and 22 years was examined. Of the orthopantomograms, 1,137 were from patients with Swiss citizenship and 123 were from other European countries. The mineralization status of lower third molars was evaluated based on Demirjian's classification of stages. For the statistical assessment of data, logistic regression and mean value testing were used. The findings show that completed growth in wisdom teeth is observable at ages less than 18. Male individuals were approximately 1 year ahead of females at stage H, and South East Europeans were approximately 6 months ahead of Swiss (Central Europe) at stage H. Mean values led to false conclusions regarding the question of the attained age of 18. Therefore, regression analysis should be used for the statistical assessment of data in dental age diagnostics.

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