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01.12.2016 | Original Article | Ausgabe 2/2017

International Journal of Legal Medicine 2/2017

Dental age estimation in the living after completion of third molar mineralization: new data for Gustafson’s criteria

International Journal of Legal Medicine > Ausgabe 2/2017
M. Timme, W. H. Timme, A. Olze, C. Ottow, S. Ribbecke, H. Pfeiffer, R. Dettmeyer, A. Schmeling


There is a need for dental age estimation methods after completion of the third molar mineralization. Degenerative dental characteristics appear to be suitable for forensic age diagnostics beyond the 18th year of life. In 2012, Olze et al. investigated the criteria studied by Gustafson using orthopantomograms. The objective of this study was to prove the applicability and reliability of this method with a large cohort and a wide age range, including older individuals. For this purpose, 2346 orthopantomograms of 1167 female and 1179 male Germans aged 15 to 70 years were reviewed. The characteristics of secondary dentin formation, cementum apposition, periodontal recession and attrition were evaluated in all the mandibular premolars. The correlation of the individual characteristics with the chronological age was examined by means of a stepwise multiple regression analysis, in which the chronological age formed the dependent variable. Following those results, R 2 values amounted to 0.73 to 0.8; the standard error of estimate was 6.8 to 8.2 years. Fundamentally, the recommendation for conducting age estimations in the living by these methods can be shared. The values for the quality of the regression are, however, not precise enough for a reliable age estimation around regular retirement date ages. More precise regression formulae for the age group of 15 to 40 years of life are separately presented in this study. Further research should investigate the influence of ethnicity, dietary habits and modern health care on the degenerative characteristics in question.

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