Age estimation standards for a Western Australian population using the dental age estimation technique developed by Kvaal et al.

Shalmira Karkhanis, Peter Mack, Daniel Franklin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the present global socio-political scenario, an increasing demand exists for age estimation in living persons, such as refugees and asylum seekers, who seldom have any documentation for proof of identity. Age estimation in the living poses significant challenges because the methods need to be non-invasive, accurate and ethically viable. Methods based on the analysis of the pulp chamber are recommended for age estimation in living adults. There is, however, a paucity of studies of this nature and population specific standards in Western Australia. The aim of the present study is therefore, to test the reliability and applicability of the method developed by Kvaal et al. (1995) for the purpose of developing age estimation standards for an adult Western Australian population.A total of 279 digital orthopantomograms (143 female; and 136 male) of Australian individuals were analysed. A subset of the total sample (50) was removed as a cross-validation (holdout) sample. Following the method described in Kvaal et al. (1995), length and width measurements of the tooth and pulp chamber were acquired in maxillary central and lateral incisors; second premolars, mandibular lateral incisors; canines and first premolars. Those measurements were then used to calculate a series of ratios (length and width), which were subsequently used to formulate age estimation regression models. The most accurate model based on a single tooth was for the maxillary central incisor (SEE ±9.367 years), followed by the maxillary second premolar (SEE ±9.525 years). Regression models based on the measurement of multiple teeth improved age prediction accuracy (SEE ±7.963 years). The regression models presented here have expected accuracy rates comparable (if not higher than) to established skeletal morphoscopic methods. This method, therefore, offers a statistically quantified methodological approach for forensic age estimation in Western Australian adults. © 2013 Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104
Pages (from-to)104.e1-104.e6
Number of pages6
JournalForensic Science International
Volume235
Early online date16 Dec 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014

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