Methods of teeth examination for determining age of individual

A woman showing her teeth to a person for examination

Odontology is the scientific study of teeth, where – the study of the structure, development, and abnormalities of the teeth. Forensic Odontology can be defined as the application of the dental expertise to the legal system. It is a branch of forensic medicine and it’s finding is correlated with each other evidence such as findings from bone.

As we know already that fingerprints and DNA are unique to every individual, similarly dental pattern of every individual is also unique and are extensively used in identification processes during mass disasters and forensic investigations.

They are also used extensively for age determination. There are usually 3 methods which are used significantly for determining age of individual. They are:-

Methods for the Examination of age through Teeth examination

There are 3 broad methods for the examination of teeth.
1. Boyde’s Method
2. Stack’s Method
3. Gustafson’s Method

Following detailed methods :

Boyde’s Method

This teeth examination method is used to determine the age of a child after few months just after birth. He studied the striation developed in the enamel of teeth. The crown striation is considered to be daily in creminis growth deposited in the enamel. These are called Incremental lines. After birth and eruption of 1st teeth, one primary incremental line develops, also known as the Neonatal line. After this line, subsequent incremental lines are calculated, and age is decided. By applying this method, the age can be estimated only in terms of days.

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Stack’s Method

Developed in a method where he had taken the height and weight of tooth which he convoluted with the data indicating approximate age of a person. The eruption of the third Molar occurs at the age of 

25(max), and after this, no further eruption of the tooth occurs. The estimation of age after 25 is based on secondary changes occurring in the teeth.

Gustafson’s Method

This age estimation method is done by considering the changes in age occurring in teeth by considering 6 major parameters to record these changes.

  • Attrition: changes associated with surface majorly used to chew food. This process causes wearing and tearing of teeth.
  • Periodontitis: If the oral hygiene is wrong, the tooth root may be exposed with debris deposition. Other deposition of debris can also be observed on the visible area of teeth or its reverse side.
  • Secondary dentine: With age may cause deposition 2° dentine tissue in pulp delivery, further providing strength holding teeth on the jaw bone.
  • Root Resorption: Decaying process of the root. It can be appreciated by filling of sensation for extreme cold or hot food.
  • Cementum condition: weakening of connecting tissue between root and crown due to weakness in the body.
  • Transparency of Root: Roots become weak to hold the teeth with jaw bone depending upon the body condition.
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