Accurate timing of the eruption of first and permanent teeth is an important parameter in forensic odontology to establish the age of dead or live individuals. Determination of adulthood may determine, for example, whether an individual convicted of a crime is sentenced as an adult and incarcerated in a state penal institution or as a juvenile and sent to a juvenile camp. At present, there is a large immigrant population in Italy, and young foreign criminals sometimes have false passports bearing a later birth date, with the aim of evading punishment. In such circumstances, age determination is becoming a significant forensic issue.Late in adolescence, after formation of the premolars and canines, only the third molars continue to develop. According to several studies, although the third molars are the most variable teeth in the dentition, they remain the most reliable biologic indicator available for estimation of age during the middle teens and early twenties.In this study, the authors test the possibilities offered by orthopantomography executed by means of digital technology, with the aim of exploiting the advantages of the computerized digital technique compared with the conventional technique, to determine adult age on the basis of root development of the third molar.Digital radiography is simple to use, quick, and effective, allowing superimposition and enlargement; the images can be electronically stored and transported. In comparison with traditional orthopantomography, the digital technique features greater diagnostic accuracy of some anatomic structures: upper and lower front teeth, root apexes, floor of the nasal fossa and maxillary sinus, nasal septum, mandibular condylus. Moreover, digital orthopantomography suffers less from artifacts.The digital orthopantomographies of 83 Caucasian subjects (43 females and 40 males) aged between 16 and 22 years were analyzed in standard conditions, assessing the degree of maturation of the upper and lower third molars. A standardized computer procedure was used to acquire the x-ray images, recording 3 per plate: the overall orthopantomography and 2 enlargements of optical type of the left and right sides, to reveal the third molars while maintaining unaltered the image resolution.For the analysis, the authors adopted Demirjian's staging system that classifies development of the third molar in 8 stages (A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H) on the basis of morphologic criteria. This has been statistically proved to feature notable precision and high predictive ability.To assess any sex-related variations in mineralization speed, the series was subdivided by gender. The study demonstrated that such differences are more evident under the age of 18 years.Overall, the observation of 245 third molars showed faster development of the upper than the lower third molars, a prevalence of stages D to G in the age range between 16 and 18 years, and a clear predominance of stage H in individuals over 18 years of age. Finally, an intermediate stage between G and H was demonstrated in subjects aged between 17 and 21 years.

Morphologic Analysis of Third-Molar Maturity by Digital Orthopantomographic Assessment

INTRONA, Francesco;SANTORO, VALERIA;DE DONNO, ANTONIO;
2008

Abstract

Accurate timing of the eruption of first and permanent teeth is an important parameter in forensic odontology to establish the age of dead or live individuals. Determination of adulthood may determine, for example, whether an individual convicted of a crime is sentenced as an adult and incarcerated in a state penal institution or as a juvenile and sent to a juvenile camp. At present, there is a large immigrant population in Italy, and young foreign criminals sometimes have false passports bearing a later birth date, with the aim of evading punishment. In such circumstances, age determination is becoming a significant forensic issue.Late in adolescence, after formation of the premolars and canines, only the third molars continue to develop. According to several studies, although the third molars are the most variable teeth in the dentition, they remain the most reliable biologic indicator available for estimation of age during the middle teens and early twenties.In this study, the authors test the possibilities offered by orthopantomography executed by means of digital technology, with the aim of exploiting the advantages of the computerized digital technique compared with the conventional technique, to determine adult age on the basis of root development of the third molar.Digital radiography is simple to use, quick, and effective, allowing superimposition and enlargement; the images can be electronically stored and transported. In comparison with traditional orthopantomography, the digital technique features greater diagnostic accuracy of some anatomic structures: upper and lower front teeth, root apexes, floor of the nasal fossa and maxillary sinus, nasal septum, mandibular condylus. Moreover, digital orthopantomography suffers less from artifacts.The digital orthopantomographies of 83 Caucasian subjects (43 females and 40 males) aged between 16 and 22 years were analyzed in standard conditions, assessing the degree of maturation of the upper and lower third molars. A standardized computer procedure was used to acquire the x-ray images, recording 3 per plate: the overall orthopantomography and 2 enlargements of optical type of the left and right sides, to reveal the third molars while maintaining unaltered the image resolution.For the analysis, the authors adopted Demirjian's staging system that classifies development of the third molar in 8 stages (A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H) on the basis of morphologic criteria. This has been statistically proved to feature notable precision and high predictive ability.To assess any sex-related variations in mineralization speed, the series was subdivided by gender. The study demonstrated that such differences are more evident under the age of 18 years.Overall, the observation of 245 third molars showed faster development of the upper than the lower third molars, a prevalence of stages D to G in the age range between 16 and 18 years, and a clear predominance of stage H in individuals over 18 years of age. Finally, an intermediate stage between G and H was demonstrated in subjects aged between 17 and 21 years.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11586/14194
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