Forensic Science, Medicine and Pathology

, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 272–277 | Cite as

Chronology of mineralization of the permanent mandibular second molar teeth and forensic age estimation

  • Pedro Fins
  • Maria Lurdes Pereira
  • Américo Afonso
  • Daniel Pérez-Mongiovi
  • Inês Morais CaldasEmail author
Original Article


Forensic age estimation frequently relies upon the chronology of mineralization of the third molar teeth. However, even when present, third molar teeth cannot always be used for estimating age in people who are classified as minors. Seconds molars develop earlier and in a more predictable way, and therefore are often more reliable for age estimation in this age group. This study aims to contribute to forensic age estimation using an age threshold of 14-years, studying the stages of development of permanent mandibular second molar teeth mineralization. 367 orthopantograms of a Portuguese population group, aged between 3 and 19 years, were studied. The stages of mineralization of mandibular permanent second molar teeth were studied following the classification stages proposed by Demirjian et al. Stage descriptive analysis was performed, and associations between age and stage were studied. A logistic regression to determine age over 14 years, using maturation stages and sex as a predictive variables, was made. A second sample was used for testing the model. The significance level was set at 5%. The model correctly classified 92.0% of cases overall. The equation was tested in the second sample, and the results showed that there were no statistical significant differences between the binary real age (i.e. age < 14 and age ≥ 14 years) and the estimated age (p = 0.109). The developed model is useful for age estimation using 14-years as a threshold. However, stage maturation analyses showed that stage F, in males, and stages G and H, in both sexes, lead to an estimated age with significant statistical differences from chronological age.


Forensic age estimation Dental age estimation Tooth mineralization Second molar teeth Demirjian method 


Compliance with ethical standards


No funding to report.

Conflict of interest

All authors declare 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. No informed consent was obtained since this was a retrospective study based on anonymized clinical records.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculdade de Medicina Dentária da Universidade do PortoPortoPortugal
  2. 2.ISPUP – EPIUNit – Instituto de Saúde Pública da Universidade do PortoPortoPortugal
  3. 3.IINFACTS - Institute of Research and Advanced Training in Health Sciences, Department of Sciences, CESPUUniversity Institute of Health Sciences (IUCS)GandraPortugal
  4. 4.CENCIFOR – Centre of Forensic SciencesUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal
  5. 5.CFE – Centre of Functional EcologyUniversity of CoimbraCoimbraPortugal

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