Age estimation standards for a Western Australian population using the coronal pulp cavity index

Shalmira Karkhanis, Peter Mack, Daniel Franklin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Age estimation is a vital aspect in creating a biological profile and aids investigators by narrowing down potentially matching identities from the available pool. In addition to routine casework, in the present global political scenario, age estimation in living individuals is required in cases of refugees, asylum seekers, human trafficking and to ascertain age of criminal responsibility. Thus robust methods that are simple, non-invasive and ethically viable are required. The aim of the present study is, therefore, to test the reliability and applicability of the coronal pulp cavity index method, for the purpose of developing age estimation standards for an adult Western Australian population.A total of 450 orthopantomograms (220 females and 230 males) of Australian individuals were analyzed. Crown and coronal pulp chamber heights were measured in the mandibular left and right premolars, and the first and second molars. These measurements were then used to calculate the tooth coronal index. Data was analyzed using paired sample t-tests to assess bilateral asymmetry followed by simple linear and multiple regressions to develop age estimation models. The most accurate age estimation based on simple linear regression model was with mandibular right first molar (SEE ±8.271 years). Multiple regression models improved age prediction accuracy considerably and the most accurate model was with bilateral first and second molars (SEE ±6.692 years). This study represents the first investigation of this method in a Western Australian population and our results indicate that the method is suitable for forensic application. © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)412.e1-412.e6
JournalForensic Science International
Issue number1-3
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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