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Chronological Age Estimation Based on Mandibular Third Molar Development from Digital Panoramic Radiograph in a South Kerala Population

Introduction: Tooth development is the best method in estimating the chronological age of young adults. Demirjan’s method has high value of correlation and observer agreement between chronological age and estimated age. Aim of the study: To assess the chronological age based on developmental stages of mandibular third molar using Demirjian’s method. Materials and methods: A retrospective study of 160 radiographs, among subjects in the age group of 9-25 years who underwent digital panoramic radiographic examination during the last 6 months in the Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, Pushpagiri College of Dental Sciences, Thiruvalla, Kerala, South India. TenmaIes and ten females were selected for each stage of third molar development (n=160). Developmental stage of the mandibular third molar was assessed using Demirjian’s method. Results: The root formation of mandibular third molars is completed (stage H) at the mean age of 21.4 ± 2.5 years and 21.2 ± 3.2years in females and males respectively. At the mean age of 14.6 ± 1.5 and 13.6 ± 1.9years, the formation of inter-radicular bifurcation (Stage E) had started in males and in females. The data showed that males reached the stages at indicated ages earlier than females. Conclusion: Radiological development of the third molar may be a useful biological variable for estimating the age of a person between teens and early 20s.

Author(s): Mathew AL, Cherian SA and Mathew R

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