Background: Forensic age estimation and its medicolegal implications are gaining lot of importance mainly to determine the age of undocumented youths and to differentiate juvenile from adults. Radiographic evaluation of third molars in terms of its stages of development, its position and extent of mineralization provides an important tool for age estimation, especially in middle teens and early twenties. Hence, this study was designed to assess the reliability of lower third molar development as an indicator for chronological age estimation in young adults of South Indian Population. Material and methods: The study sample comprised of OPG’s (orthopantamographs) of 188 subjects from a restricted geographic area and known chronological age and gender. Radiographs were evaluated using Demerjian’s method to assess the various stages of mandibular right and left third molar development. Data obtained were subjected to statistical analysis. Regression analysis was performed to obtain formula for dental age calculation. Results: Study revealed strong correlation between Demirjians third molar developmental stages and chronological age. Our study also showed that accuracy of age estimation is enhanced when bilateral third molar is evaluated and used for age estimation. The probability of an individual being adult at developmental stage G is still remains uncertain, however at developmental stage H it is almost assured. Conclusion: Several research groups have evaluated the reliability of third molars in age estimation but consensus on the usefulness of these teeth in forensic view has not been reached. The present study has discussed the utility of 3rd molar calcification stage in differentiating between juvenile and adolescent. Demirjian’s stage H can be used as cut off point for determining the majority/minority status of the individual.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine