Age estimation from root development of mandibular third molars in comparison with skeletal age of wrist joint

Vrinda J. Bhat, Giridhar P. Kamath

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)


Identification of the living person and the dead is of paramount importance for variety of reasons in forensic practice routinely. Age estimation is one of the prime factors employed to establish identity. Estimating age from teeth is generally reliable as they are naturally preserved long after all the tissues and even bones have disintegrated. A study was done to determine the age by root developmental changes, using the intraoral periapical radiographs of the mandibular third molars, adopting the Leif Kullman et al method. Three hundred forty-six girls and 389 boys of the age range 15-25 years, among the South Indian population of young adults from various schools and colleges in the vicinity of Dakshina Kannada and Udupi Districts and also among the patients visiting the outpatient department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, College of Dental Surgery, Manipal, were considered for this study. The subjects were roentgenographically examined to determine the age from the 7 stages of root development of the left mandibular third molar. Depending on the exact stage of root development as seen in the radiograph, the chronologic age was determined. This method sheds a new light on determining the ages of 15, 16, and 18 years, which has an immense medicolegal bearing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-241
Number of pages4
JournalAmerican Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01-09-2007
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

Cite this