Forensic Odontology: A Handbook for Human Identification

Dental Age Estimation in Forensics

Author(s): Priyanka Kapoor* and Aman Chowdhry

Pp: 28-66 (39)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815124392123010006

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Dental age estimation is important in both comparative and reconstructive forensic identification, where chronological age is either unknown or deliberately hidden or forged due to criminal, civil or legal disputes. Age estimation is possible right from prenatal life to early postnatal, childhood, adolescent and adult age, but the methods or principles differ in implementation. While the developmental stages of teeth are important to assess age in a young life, the morphologic changes after the complete development of teeth or third molar indices become important in adulthood. This chapter classifies different methods used in dental age determination, including visual, radiographic, physical, histologic, biochemical, and morphologic changes, in different age groups and gives a diagrammatic representation for ease of understanding. The evolution of atlas/chart methods for developing teeth has been explained in detail, including the conventional Schour and Massler chart to the contemporary London atlas method. Additionally, an overview of the more objective scoring methods, including Demirjian and its modifications, comprehensive DAEcc charts, Camariere methods, etc., is also given. This chapter also entails the most recent advances in age estimation techniques, including 3-D CBCT/micro-CT volumetric assessments and automated age estimation programs, along with the current use of artificial intelligence (AI) in the segmentation of radiographic images of teeth for greater accuracy and automation. The comprehensiveness of this chapter is established by the inclusion of dental age estimation in special situations of craniofacial abnormalities, archeology or fossil evidence. Towards the end, it also highlights the importance of using more than one age estimation method while preparing a forensic age estimation report or in research, also mentioning the error rate in each method.

Keywords: Age estimation charts, Artificial intelligence, Dental age stimation, DAE, Forensics.

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