International Journal of Legal Medicine

, Volume 120, Issue 1, pp 49–52 | Cite as

Age estimation in children by measurement of open apices in teeth

  • Roberto CameriereEmail author
  • Luigi Ferrante
  • Mariano Cingolani
Technical Note


This paper concerns a method for estimating the age of children based on their teeth. The sample consisted of 455 Italian white children (213 boys, 242 girls) aged between 5 and 15 years. The purpose of the present investigation was to present a method for assessing chronological age based on the relationship between age and measurement of the open apices in teeth. Pearson’s correlation coefficients between age and these variables showed that the correlations between age and the open apices in teeth were significant and negative. Furthermore, gender and the number of teeth with the apical end of the root canals completely closed (N 0) showed a significant correlation with chronological age. With the aid of a stepwise multiple regression model, a linear relationship between open apices, N 0, and age was shown. Statistical analysis indicated that these morphological variables explain 83.6% of the variations in estimated chronological age. The median of residual errors between the actual and estimated ages was −0.035 years [interquartile range (IQR)=1.18 years].


Forensic age estimation Open apices Mineralization Multiple regression 


  1. 1.
    Tanner JM, Healy MJR, Goldstein H, Cameron N (2001) Assessment of skeletal maturity and prediction of adults height (TW3 Method). Saunders, LondonGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Roche AF, Cameron Chumlea W, Thissen D (1988) Assessing the skeletal maturity of the hand-wrist: FELS method. Charles C. Thomas Publisher, SpringfieldGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Schmeling A, Schulz R, Reisinger W, Muhler M, Wernecke KD, Geserick G (2004) Studies on the time frame for ossification of the medial clavicular epiphyseal cartilage in conventional radiography. Int J Legal Med 118:5–8CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Schulz R, Mühler M, Mutze S, Schmidt S, Reisinger W, Schmeling A (2005) Studies on the time frame of ossification of the medial epiphysis of the clavicle as revealed by CT scans. Int J Legal Med 119:142–145CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Nolla C (1960) The development of permanent teeth. J Dent Child 27:254Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Moorres CFA, Fanning EA, Hunt EE (1963) Age variation of formation stages for ten permanent teeth. J Dent Res 42:1490PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Gleiser I, Hunt EE (1995) The permanent mandibular first molar; its calcification, eruption, and decay. Am J Phys Anthropol 13:253–283CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Demirjian A, Goldstein H, Tanner JM (1973) A new system of dental age assessment. Hum Biol 45:211–227PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Chaillet N, Nystrom M, Kataja M, Demirjian A (2004) Dental maturity curves in Finnish children: Demirjian’s method revisited and polynomial functions for age estimation. J Forensic Sci 49:1324–1331PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Koshy S, Tandon S (1998) Dental age assessment: the applicability of Demirjian’s method in south Indian children. Forensic Sci Int 94:73–85CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Teivens A, Mornstad H (2001) A modification of the Demirijan method for age estimation in children. J Forensic Odontostomatol 19:26–30PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Prieto LJ, Barberia E, Ortega R, Magaña C (2005) Evaluation of chronological age based on third molar development in the population. Int J Legal Med. DOI 10.1007/S00414-005-0530-3Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Olze A, Bilang D, Schmidt S, Wernecke KD, Geserick G, Schmeling A (2005) Validation of common classification systems for assessing the mineralization of third molars. Int J Legal Med 119:22–26CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Ritz-Timme S, Laumeier I, Collins M (2003) Age estimation based on aspartic acid racemization in elastin from the yellow ligaments. Int J Legal Med 117:96–101PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Othani S, Ito R, Yamamoto T (2003) Differences in the D/L aspartic acid ratios in dentin among different types of teeth from the same individual estimated age. Int J Legal Med 117:149–152PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Othani S, Ito R, Arany S, Yamamoto T (2005) Racemization in enamel among different types of teeth from the same individual. Int J Legal Med 119:66–69CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Mornstad H, Staaf V, Welander U (1994) Age estimation with the aid of tooth development: a new method based on objective measurements. Scand J Dent Res 102:137–143PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Cameriere R, Ferrante L, Cingolani M (2003) Variations in pulp/tooth area ratio as an indicator of age: a preliminary study. J Forensic Sci 49:317–319Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Paevlinsky E, Pfeiffer H, Brinkmann B (2005) Quantification of secondary dentine formation from orthopantomograms—a contribution to forensic age estimation methods in adults. Int J Legal Med 119:27–30CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Chaillet N, Demirjian A (2004) Dental maturity in South France: a comparison between Demirjian’s method and polynominal functions. J Forensic Sci 49:1059–1066PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberto Cameriere
    • 1
    Email author
  • Luigi Ferrante
    • 2
  • Mariano Cingolani
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Legal MedicineMacerataItaly
  2. 2.Institute of Biochemical Biotechnologies Faculty of MedicinePolytechnical University of MarchesAnconaItaly

Personalised recommendations