Journal of Forensic Dental Sciences
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Year : 2012  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 13-18

An evaluation of third molar eruption for assessment of chronologic age: A panoramic study

Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Dr. Syamala Reddy Dental College Hospital and Research Centre, Rajiv Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Monica Tuteja
Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Dr. Syamala Reddy Dental College Hospital and Research Centre, 111/1 SGR College Main Road, Munnekolola, Marathahalli, Bangalore - 560 037, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0975-1475.99154

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Objectives: The identity of a person can be established by assessing one's age, and in order to be entitled to civil rights and social benefits, verification of the chronological age is required and thereby age estimation has gained an increasing significance in recent years. Tooth eruption is one of the criteria of developmental morphology that can be evaluated by either clinical examination or by evaluation of dental radiographs to determine the dental age. The present study was aimed to evaluate the reliability of the third molar eruption stage as a parameter for forensic age estimation in living subjects. Materials and Methods: The stage of wisdom tooth eruption in 77 male and 73 female Indian subjects aged between 12-26 years was determined by subjecting them to conventional orthopantomograms and was interpreted to assess the third molar eruption stages to evaluate the dental age. Results: Predicted minimum age and mean age of the study sample were found to be significant predictors (P<0.001) of actual age. Minimum age was able to explain 58.3% of the variation in actual age and the mean age was able to explain 60.3% of variation in actual age. Conclusion: Third molar is fairly a reliable indicator to determine the age of alveolar, gingival, and complete emergence of third molar in the occlusal plane in adolescents and young adults. Minimum and most probable ages of examined subjects can also be evaluated using third molar eruption stage.

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