Usability of dental pulp visibility and tooth coronal index in digital panoramic radiography in age estimation in the forensic medicine


INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF LEGAL MEDICINE, vol.134, no.1, pp.381-392, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 134 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00414-019-02188-w
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, BIOSIS, Criminal Justice Abstracts, EMBASE, MEDLINE, DIALNET
  • Page Numbers: pp.381-392
  • Keywords: Forensic medicine, Dental age, Root pulp, Tooth coronal index, LOWER 3RD MOLARS
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


Age estimation has a great importance due to legal requirements. The aim of our study was to determine the applicability of two different methods in age estimation; one of them based on the calculation of the visibility of the root pulp of mandibular third molar teeth and the other based on the calculation of the tooth coronal index (TCI) in the mandibular first and second molar teeth in the 9059 digital orthopantomogram of people aged between 15 and 40 in Bursa. In the first method in which the visibility of the fully mineralized root pulp of the mandibular third molar teeth was evaluated in 4 stages; the stages 0, 1, 2, and 3 were observed regardless of sex at the earliest 17.2; 19.1; 20.1, and 25.1 years, respectively. In the second method in which TCI was regressed on chronological age using measuring crown and coronal pulp cavity heights, the most accurate age estimation model based on simple linear regression for all cases without any sex difference was found to be with right first molar tooth (SEE +/- 7304 years) and the most accurate age model based on multiple regression model was found to be with bilateral first molar teeth (SEE +/- 7413 years). In conclusion, we believe that the root pulp visibility of the third molar teeth can be applied safely for stages 1, 2, and 3 at 16, 17, and 21 years of ages, respectively. A correlation was also found between TCI and age, and our findings have shown that both methods are available for forensic purposes.