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01.09.2010 | Original Article | Ausgabe 5/2010

International Journal of Legal Medicine 5/2010

Assessment of the radiographic visibility of the periodontal ligament in the lower third molars for the purpose of forensic age estimation in living individuals

Zeitschrift:
International Journal of Legal Medicine > Ausgabe 5/2010
Autoren:
Andreas Olze, Tore Solheim, Ronald Schulz, Michael Kupfer, Heidi Pfeiffer, Andreas Schmeling

Abstract

The main criterion for dental age estimation in living individuals is the mineralisation of third molars. However, the mineralisation of third molars can be completed before the forensically relevant age of 18 years has been attained. In a material of 1,198 orthopantomograms from 629 females and 569 males aged between 15 and 40 years, the radiographic visibility of the periodontal membrane of fully mineralised third molars was assessed according to stages 0, 1, 2 and 3. Stage 0 first appeared at the age of 17.2 years in females and at the age of 17.6 years in males. Stage 1 was first achieved by females between 18.9 and 20.0 years and by males between 20.1 and 20.2 years. The earliest appearance of stage 2 was between 22.5 and 23.1 years in females and at 22.3 years in males. The occurrence of stage 3 was first found between 24.6 and 25.2 years in females and between 25.4 and 26.2 years in males. If stage 1 is determined, it is, therefore, possible to prove that an individual has already attained the legally relevant age of 18 years. For stages 2 and 3, it can be stated beyond reasonable doubt that a person is over 21 years of age.

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