Reply to the letter by Kumar and Kanchan “Age estimation based on aspartic acid racemization in cariesaffected teeth: need for further explorations”
We thank Dr. Kumar and Dr. Kancham for their interest in our work and their comments.
Our paper  addresses one single (but important) aspect of age estimation based on aspartic acid in dentine (AAR), and is to be seen in the context of all other data from research over decades in that field. Most of the points addressed in the letter of Dr. Kumar and Dr. Kancham can be clarified by a closer look at this scientific context.
AAR has been identified as basis for age estimation decades ago, and further investigated by several groups. Its applicability in forensic casework has become possible by the methodological work of these groups and by the development of guidelines for quality assurance (e.g., [2, 3]). Today, it is an established method in some labs and regarded as one of the most precise methods for age estimation in adults (e.g., [4, 5]). In our hands, age estimation based on AAR in dentine works with 95% prediction intervals of ± 4 years in any age group , and...
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