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J Forensic Odontostomatol. 1994 Jun;12(1):6-11.

A non-destructive dental method for age estimation.

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Department of Oral Pathology, Dental Faculty, University of Oslo, Norway.


Dental radiographs have rarely been used in dental age estimation methods for adults and the aim of this investigation was to derive formulae for age calculation based on measurements of teeth and their radiographs. Age-related changes were studied in 452 extracted, unsectioned incisors, canines and premolars. The length of the apical translucent zone and extent of the periodontal retraction were measured on the teeth while the pulp length and width as well as root length and width were measured on the radiographs and the ratios between the root and pulp measurements calculated. For all types of teeth significant, negative Pearson's correlation coefficients were found between age and the ratios between the pulp and the root width. In this study also, the correlation between age and the length of the apical translucent zone was weaker than expected. The periodontal retraction was significantly correlated with age in maxillary premolars alone. Multiple regression analyses showed inclusion of the ratio between the measurements of the pulp and the root on the radiographs for all teeth; the length of the apical translucency in five types; and periodontal retraction in only three types of teeth. The correlation coefficients ranged from r = 0.48 to r = 0.90 between the chronological and the calculated age using the formulae from this multiple regression study. The strongest coefficients were for premolars. These formulae may be recommended for use in odontological age estimations in forensic and archaeological cases where teeth are loose or can be extracted and where it is important that the teeth are not sectioned.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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