Estimation of age based on tooth cementum annulations: A comparative study using light, polarized, and phase contrast microscopy


Prabhpreet Kaur
Madhusudan Astekar
Jappreet Singh
Karandeep Arora
Gagandeep Bhalla


Context: The identification of living or deceased persons using unique traits and characteristics of the teeth and jaws is a cornerstone of forensic science. Teeth have been used to estimate age both in the young and old, as well as in the living and dead. Gradual structural changes in teeth throughout life are the basis for age estimation. Tooth cementum annulation (TCA) is a microscopic method for the determination of an individual′s age based on the analysis of incremental lines of cementum. Aim: To compare ages estimated using incremental lines of cementum as visualized by bright field microscopy, polarized microscopy, and phase contrast microscopy with the actual age of subject and to determine accuracy and feasibility of the method used. Materials and Methods: Cementum annulations of 60 permanent teeth were analyzed after longitudinal ground sections were made in the mesiodistal plane. The incremental lines were counted manually using a light, polarized and phase contrast microscopy. Ages were estimated and then compared with the actual age of individual. Statistical Analysis: Analysis of variance (ANOVA), Student′s t-test, the Pearson product-moment corre (PPMCC) and regression analysis were performed. Results: PPMCC value r = 0.347, 0.542 and 0.989 were obtained using light, polarized and phase contrast microscopy methods respectively. Conclusion: It was concluded that incremental lines of cementum were most clearly visible under a phase contrast microscope, followed by a polarized microscope, and then a light microscope when used for age estimation.


How to Cite
Prabhpreet Kaur, Madhusudan Astekar, Jappreet Singh, Karandeep Arora, & Gagandeep Bhalla. (2015). Estimation of age based on tooth cementum annulations: A comparative study using light, polarized, and phase contrast microscopy. Journal of Forensic Dental Sciences, 7(3), 215–221.


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