International Journal of Legal Medicine

, Volume 133, Issue 2, pp 593–601 | Cite as

Accuracy of the Demirjian and Willems methods of dental age estimation for children from central southern China

  • Zedeng Yang
  • Kun Geng
  • Yanfang Liu
  • Shule Sun
  • Dan Wen
  • Jiao Xiao
  • Yusong Zheng
  • Jifeng Cai
  • Lagabaiyila ZhaEmail author
  • Ying LiuEmail author
Original Article


The aim of this study was to compare the accuracy of the Demirjian method and the Demirjian method as revised by Willems for age estimation based on orthopantomograms from central southern Chinese Han population aged 8–16 years. Discrepancies between chronological and estimated ages were statistically evaluated by analyzing 1249 orthopantomograms from 603 girls and 646 boys. Using the Demirjian method, the mean age estimates underestimated chronological age by 0.03 years (p = 0.48) for girls and overestimated it by 0.03 years (p = 0.59) for boys; these differences with respect to chronological age were not statistically significant. In contrast, the Willems method underestimated chronological age by 0.54 years (p < 0.01) for girls and 0.44 years (p < 0.01) for boys; these differences with respect to chronological age were statistically significant. Compared to the Demirjian method, the overall mean absolute error generated using the Willems method was slightly higher (0.85 and 0.86 years, respectively). Since the Demirjian method was more accurate, we highly recommend that it should be applied when estimating dental age in the Chinese Han population. Further modifications of these two methods for populations from other regions and additional studies of other age groups are warranted.


Dental age estimation The Demirjian method The Willems method Central southern Chinese population Han population 



This research was supported by Natural Science Foundation of Hunan Province (2017JJ3422) and Shanghai Key Laboratory of Forensic Medicine Open Project (KF1815).

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval was granted by the ethics committee of XiangYa Stomatological Hospital.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. For this type of study, formal consent is not required.

Informed consent

Informed consent was provided by all individual participants included in the study, according to the Declaration of Helsinki.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Forensic Science, School of Basic Medical SciencesCentral South UniversityChangshaChina
  2. 2.Xiangya Stomatological CollageCentral South UniversityChangshaChina

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