International Journal of Legal Medicine

, Volume 124, Issue 2, pp 105–112 | Cite as

Dental age estimation in Spanish and Venezuelan children. Comparison of Demirjian and Chaillet’s scores

  • Angelines Cruz-LandeiraEmail author
  • Jesabeth Linares-Argote
  • María Martínez-Rodríguez
  • María Sol Rodríguez-Calvo
  • Xosé Luis Otero
  • Luis Concheiro
Original Article


Orthopantomographs taken from 308 Spanish Caucasian and 200 Venezuelan Amerindian children, aged between 2 and 18 years, were analysed following the Demirjian’s method. The aims of this study were to test the applicability of the Demirjian’s method to two different sample populations, and to develop age prediction models for both populations using the original French Canadian scores described by Demirjian (1976) and the new multi-ethnic dental scores proposed by Chaillet et al. (2005) when the ethnic origin is unknown. Results showed that despite the good correlation between dental and chronological age, Demirjian’s method overestimates the age in the Spanish Caucasian sample using both scores, the mean overestimation being higher when the Demirjian’s scores were used than when the Chaillet’s scale was applied. In the Venezuelan Amerindian sample, the opposite was found: Demirjian’s method underestimates the age using both scores, the underestimation being higher when the Chaillet’s scale was applied than when Demirjian’s scale was used. New graphs were produced to convert the maturity scores to dental age for Spanish and Venezuelan children. With these graphs, the Demirjian’s scores showed to be inadequate after the age of 12 in both populations, while Chaillet’s scores offered useful information until 14 years of age.


Forensic odontology Dental age estimation Demirjian’s method Spanish Venezuelan Children 


  1. 1.
    Tunc ES, Koyuturk AE (2008) Dental age assessment using Demirjian’s method on northern Turkish children. Forensic Sci Int 175(1):23–61CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bosmans N, Ann P, Aly M, Willems G (2005) The application of Kvaal’s dental age calculation technique on panoramic dental radiographs. Forensic Sci Int. 153(2–3):208–12CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Cameriere R, Brkic H, Ermenc B, Ferrante L, Ovsenik M, Cingolani M (2008) The measurement of open apices of teeth to test chronological age of over 14-year olds in living subjects. Forensic Sci Int 174(2–3):217–221CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Schmeling A, Grundmann C, Fuhrmann A, Kaatsch HJ, Knell B, Ramsthaler F, Reisinger W, Riepert T, Ritz-Timme S, Rösing FW, Rötzscher K, Geserick G (2008) Criteria for age estimation in living individuals. Int J Legal Med 122(6):457–460CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Schmidt S, Nitz I, Schulz R, Schmeling A (2008) Applicability of the skeletal age determination method of Tanner and Whitehouse for forensic age diagnostics. Int J Legal Med 122(4):309–314CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    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 119:27–30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    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 117:149–152Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    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 119:66–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Olze A, Taniguchi M, Schmeling A, Zhu BL, Yamada Y, Maeda H, Geserick G (2003) Comparative study on the chronology of third molar mineralization in a Japanese and a German population. Leg Med (Tokyo) 5(Suppl 1):S256–S260Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Demirjian A, Goldstein H, Tanner JM (1973) A new system of dental age assessment. Hum Biol 45(2):211–217PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Demirjian A, Goldstein H (1976) New systems for dental maturity based on seven and tour teeth. Ann Hum Biol 3(5):411–421CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Chaillet N, Nyström 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(6):1324–1331CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Nyström M, Haataja J, Kataja M, Evälahti M, Peck L, Kleemola-Kujala E (1986) Dental maturity in Finnish children, estimated from the development of seven permanent mandibular teeth. Acta Odontol Scand 44:193–198CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Nykänen R, Espeland L, Kvaal S, Krogstad O (1998) Validity of the Demirjian method for dental age estimation when applied to Norwegian children. Acta Odontol Scand 56:238–244CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Liversidge HM, Speechly T, Hector MP (1999) Dental maturation in British children: are Demirjian’s standards applicable? Int J Paediatr Dent 9(4):263–269PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Frucht S, Schnegelsberg C, Schulte-Mönting J, Rose E, Jonas I (2000) Dental age in southwest Germany. A radiographic study. J Orofac Orthop 61(5):318–329CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Willems G, Olmen AV, Spiessens B, Carels C (2001) Dental age estimation in Belgian children: Demirjian’s technique revisited. J Forensic Sci 46(4):893–895PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Teivens A, Mörnstad H (2001) A modification of the Demirjian method for age estimation in children. J Forensic Odonto-Stomatol 19(2):26–30Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Chaillet N, Demirjian A (2004) Dental maturity in South France: a comparison between Demirjian’s method and polynomial functions. J Forensic Sci 49(5):1059–1066CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Chaillet N, Willems G, Demirjian A (2004) Dental maturity in Belgian children using Demirjian’s method and polynomial functions: new standard curves for forensic and clinical use. J Forensic Odonto-Stomatol 22(2):18–27Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Rózyło-Kalinowska I, Kiworkowa-Raczkowska E, Kalinowski P (2008) Dental age in Central Poland. Forensic Sci Int 174:207–216CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Al-Emran S (2008) Dental age assessment of 8.5 to 17 year-old Saudi children using Demirjian’s method. J Contemp Dent Pract 9(3):64–71PubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Chaillet N, Nyström M, Demirjian A (2005) Comparison of dental maturity in children of different ethnic origins: international maturity curves for clinicians. J Forensic Sci 50(5):1164–1174CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Ferrante L, Cameriere R (2009) Statistical methods to assess the reliability of measurements in the procedures for forensic age estimation. Int J Legal Med 123(4):277–283CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Hernández M, Espasa E, Boj JR (2008) Eruption chronology of the permanent dentition in Spanish children. J Clin Pediatr Dent 32(4):347–350PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Cameriere R, De Angelis D, Ferrante L, Scarpino F, Cingolani M (2007) Age estimation in children by measurement of open apices in teeth: a European formula. Int J Legal Med 121(6):449–453CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Cameriere R, Ferrante L, Liversidge HM, Prieto JL, Brkic H (2008) Accuracy of age estimation in children using radiograph of developing teeth. Forensic Sci Int 176(2–3):173–177CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Bolaños MV, Moussa H, Manrique MC, Bolaños MJ (2003) Radiographic evaluation of third molar development in Spanish children and young people. Forensic Sci Int 133(3):212–219CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Prieto JL, Barbería E, Ortega R, Magaña C (2005) Evaluation of chronological age based on third molar development in the Spanish population. Int J Legal Med 119(6):349–354CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Martin-de las Heras S, García-Fortea P, Ortega A, Zodocovich S, Valenzuela A (2008) Third molar development according to chronological age in populations from Spanish and Magrebian origin. Forensic Sci Int 174(1):47–53CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Landa MI, Garamendi PM, Botella MC, Alemán I (2009) Application of the method of Kvaal et al. to digital orthopantomograms. Int J Leg Med 123(2):123–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Cameriere R, Flores-Mir C, Mauricio F, Ferrante L (2007) Effects of nutrition on timing of mineralization in teeth in a Peruvian sample by the Cameriere and Demirjian methods. Ann Hum Biol 34(5):547–556CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Olze A, Schmeling A, Taniguchi M, Maeda H, van Niekerk P, Wernecke KD, Geserick G (2004) Forensic age estimation in living subjects: the ethnic factor in wisdom tooth mineralization. Int J Legal Med 118(3):170–173CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Knell B, Ruhstaller P, Prieels F, Schmeling A (2009) Dental age diagnostics by means of radiographical evaluation of the growth stages of lower wisdom teeth. Int J Legal Med. doi: 10.1007/s00414-009-0330-2
  35. 35.
    Gunst K, Mesotten K, Carbonez A, Willems G (2003) Third molar root development in relation to chronological age: a large sample sized retrospective study. Forensic Sci Int 136(1–3):52–57CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Maber M, Liversidge HM, Hector MP (2006) Accuracy of age estimation of radiographic methods using developing teeth. Forensic Sci Int 159(Suppl 1):68–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Muñoz JI, Suárez-Peñaranda JM, Otero XL, Rodríguez-Calvo MS, Costas E, Miguens X, Concheiro L (2001) A new perspective in the estimation of postmortem interval (PMI) based on vitreous [K+]. J Forensic Sci 46(2):209–214PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Cameriere R, Ferrante L, De Angelis D, Scarpino F, Galli F (2008) The comparison between measurement of open apices of third molars and Demirjian stages to test chronological age of over 18 year olds in living subjects. Int J Legal Med 122(6):493–497CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Liversidge HM, Chaillet N, Mörnstad H, Nyström M, Rowlings K, Taylor J, Willems G (2006) Timing of Demirjian’s tooth formation stages. Ann Hum Biol 33(4):454–470CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Braga J, Heuze Y, Chabadel O, Sonan NK, Gueramy A (2005) Non-adult dental age assessment: correspondence analysis and linear regression versus Bayesian predictions. Int J Legal Med 119:260–274CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Angelines Cruz-Landeira
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jesabeth Linares-Argote
    • 1
  • María Martínez-Rodríguez
    • 1
  • María Sol Rodríguez-Calvo
    • 1
  • Xosé Luis Otero
    • 2
  • Luis Concheiro
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Legal Medicine, Faculty of MedicineUniversity of Santiago de CompostelaSantiago de CompostelaSpain
  2. 2.Unit of Biostatistics, Department of Statistics and Operations ResearchUniversity of Santiago de CompostelaSantiago de CompostelaSpain

Personalised recommendations