Dental age estimation utilizing third molar development: A review of principles, methods, and population studies used in the United States

James M. Lewis, David R. Senn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

53 Scopus citations

Abstract

When an individual reaches the age of legal majority, their treatment within the criminal and civil legal systems is changed dramatically in the United States. Forensic odontologists are often asked to assist government agencies in estimating the ages of persons who may or may not have reached that legally important age. The third molars are the only teeth useful as forensic estimators of chronological age in the target age group. This study reviews the principles, methodology, and population data of the most commonly used technique in the United States, the analysis of the third molar development based on modified Demirjian staging. The method analyzes the developing third molar to estimate mean age, age intervals and the empirical probability that an individual has reached the anniversary of her or his eighteenth birthday.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-83
Number of pages5
JournalForensic Science International
Volume201
Issue number1-3
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010

Keywords

  • Dental age estimation
  • Forensic odontology
  • Third molars

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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