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Comparative study on the effect of ethnicity on wisdom tooth eruption

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The current knowledge base for evaluating the influence of ethnic origin on wisdom tooth eruption is still inadequate. We therefore analyzed and compared the chronology of wisdom tooth eruption in three ethnic populations—German, Japanese, and black South African—based on evidence from 2,482 conventional orthopantomograms. The investigated German population ranked in the middle in terms of the age of wisdom tooth eruption. The black South African population was the fastest and the Japanese population the slowest in terms of reaching the respective eruption stages. Population-specific reference data should be used when evaluating wisdom tooth eruption for the purpose of forensic age estimation.

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This study was supported by a grant from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (SCHM 1609/1-1). The authors would like to thank Prof. K-D Wernecke, Institute of Medical Biometrics, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, for his advice on the statistical aspects of the study.

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Olze, A., van Niekerk, P., Ishikawa, T. et al. Comparative study on the effect of ethnicity on wisdom tooth eruption. Int J Legal Med 121, 445–448 (2007).

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