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17.08.2016 | Original Article | Ausgabe 3/2017

International Journal of Legal Medicine 3/2017

Sex estimation based on tooth measurements using panoramic radiographs

Zeitschrift:
International Journal of Legal Medicine > Ausgabe 3/2017
Autoren:
Cezar Capitaneanu, Guy Willems, Reinhilde Jacobs, Steffen Fieuws, Patrick Thevissen

Abstract

Background

Sex determination is an important step in establishing the biological profile of unidentified human remains.

Aim

The aims of the study were, firstly, to assess the degree of sexual dimorphism in permanent teeth, based on digital tooth measurements performed on panoramic radiographs. Secondly, to identify sex-related tooth position-specific measurements or combinations of such measurements, and to assess their applicability for potential sex determination.

Materials and methods

Two hundred digital panoramic radiographs (100 males, 100 females; age range 22–34 years) were retrospectively collected from the dental clinic files of the Dentomaxillofacial Radiology Center of the University Hospitals Leuven, Belgium, and imported in image enhancement software. Tooth length- and width-related variables were measured on all teeth in upper and lower left quadrant, and ratios of variables were calculated. Univariate and multivariate analyses were performed to quantify the sex discriminative value of the tooth position-specific variables and their combinations.

Results

The mandibular and maxillary canine showed the greatest sexual dimorphism, and tooth length variables had the highest discriminative potential. Compared to single variables, combining variables or ratios of variables did not improve substantially the discrimination between males and females.

Discussions and conclusions

Considering that the discriminative ability values (area under the curve (AUC)) were not higher than 0.80, it is not advocated to use the currently studied dental variables for accurate sex estimation in forensic practice.

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