Journal of Forensic Dental Sciences
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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 14-18

Radiographic correlation of dental and skeletal age: Third molar, an age indicator

1 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, ITS Dental College, Muradnagar, India
2 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, KLE Dental College, Bangalore, India
3 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, College of Dental Sciences, Davangere, India
4 Department of Oral Surgery, SGT Dental College & Research Institute, Gurgaon, India
5 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Subharti Dental College, Meerut, U.P., India

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0975-1475.85286

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Background: Age estimation plays a great role in forensic investigations, orthodontic and surgical treatment planning, and tooth transplantation. Teeth offer an excellent material for age determination by stages of development below the age of 25 years and by secondary changes after the age of 25 years. Third molar is often not included for this purpose due to its notorious developmental patterns. The aim of this study was to evaluate the development of third molar anlage in relation to skeletal maturities and the chronological age. Materials and Methods: One hundred and fifty-six young individuals, 78 males and 78 females, were selected. The stages of development of all the third molars in every individual were determined from panoramic radiographs. The skeletal development was assessed using hand wrist radiographs. Data were analyzed statistically for mean value, standard deviation and the relationship between the recorded characteristics. Results: A strong correlation was found between third molar development and skeletal maturity (in males: r=0.88, P<0.001; in females: r=0.77 for maxillary third molar and 0.89 for mandibular third molar, P<0.001). Conclusion: Hence, it is concluded that a strong correlation exists between chronological age, developmental stages of third molars and maturation of epiphyses of hand. Any of the three parameters could be used for the assessment of other maturities.

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