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.
- Dental age estimation
- Forensic odontology
- Third molars
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine