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Forensic Sci Int. 2009 Aug 10;189(1-3):19-23. doi: 10.1016/j.forsciint.2009.04.002. Epub 2009 May 17.

Dental age assessment (DAA): reference data for British caucasians at the 16 year threshold.

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Department of Paediatric Dentistry, King's College Dental Hospital and Institute, Bessemer Road, London SE5 9RS, United Kingdom.


The purpose of this study was to determine reference data for dental age assessment (DAA) for the 16 year threshold in British caucasians.


One thousand seven hundred and twenty-two Dental Panoramic Radiographs of individuals aged between 4 and 24 years were re-used to establish reference intervals using the tooth development stages (TDSs) previously described [A. Demirjian, H. Goldstein, J.M. Tanner, A new system of dental age, assessment, Human Biology 45 (1973) 221-227]. All teeth present in the left maxilla and mandible, and the third permanent molars were assessed. In addition, to test the accuracy of DAA, the radiographs of a study sample of 50 children of known chronological age (CA) were assessed in the same manner as the reference population. These were aged between 15 and 17 years and separate from the database. For each subject in the study sample a new method of mathematical manipulation based on meta-analysis was applied to all teeth that were still developing [G.J. Roberts, S. Parekh, A. Petrie, V.S. Lucas, Dental age assessment (DAA): a simple method for children and emerging adults, British Dental Journal 204(4) (2008) 192-193]. The estimated calculated average of all the teeth present on the radiograph of each individual generated by the meta-analysis was assigned to each individual as the dental age. For each test subject this was then compared to the gold standard of chronological age.


The average difference between dental age and chronological age for individuals in the test sample was 0.27 years (3.24 months) in females and 0.23 years (2.76 months) in males.


Dental age assessment obtained by calculation of tooth development stages using meta-analysis provides estimates of age around the 16 year threshold.

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