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Int J Paediatr Dent. 2009 Sep;19(5):367-76. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-263X.2009.00984.x. Epub 2009 Apr 16.

Dental Age Assessment: a comparison of 4- to 24-year-olds in the United Kingdom and an Australian population.

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Department of Paediatric Dentistry, Westmead Centre for Oral Health, Sydney, NSW 2145 Australia.



The physiological age of a person is determined by the degree of maturation of the different tissue systems. Children of the same chronological age (CA) can demonstrate different degrees of maturation. Dental age (DA) is based on the maturation of teeth. Tooth formation is a continuous process, where the developmental stages of the tooth can be sequenced and defined depending on the degree of mineralization. These stages can be visualized on a dental panoramic tomograph (DPT).


The aim of this study was to use a new method of Dental Age Assessment (DAA) to compare a United Kingdom (UK) and an Australian (AUS) population.


The DPTs used are from the archives of the Westmead Centre for Oral Health (Westmead, Australia) and the King's College London Dental Institute. From the preliminary sample of 89 DPTs from each population, 77 were suitable for use as matched pairs. The radiographic technique used was developed by Demirjian and describes eight stages of tooth development. This was used in combination with numerical data derived from a meta-analysis of a single UK subject.


A significant difference was shown between the CA and DA of the AUS patients. The AUS patients were also shown to have a significant 0.82 years delay in their DA compared to the UK patients. The findings indicate a difference in AUS compared to UK patients. These results indicate the need to develop a reference data set for the AUS population for DAA.


This research is of significance in a number of clinical disciplines and can also be used to assist in age determination of subjects of unknown birth date to assist in forensic dentistry or social deliberations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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