Age estimation in humans through the analysis of aspartic acid racemization from teeth: A scoping review of methods, outcomes, and open research questions

Giovanna Teixeira Matteussi, Victor Jacometti, Ademir Franco, Ricardo Henrique Alves da Silva (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Teeth are considered the most resistant structures in the human body. In forensic odontology, teeth are useful for human identification, especially when dental age estimation is necessary. Despite numerous studies, there is no consensus regarding the best methods for dental age estimation. The analysis of aspartic acid racemization, however, has shown promising results. This scoping review aimed to present a descriptive synthesis of the current literature regarding dental age estimation through aspartic acid racemization. Four electronic databases were screened: PubMed, Scielo, Web of Science, and Scopus. Cross-sectional studies published before April 2021 were selected. From 206 articles found, 26 met the eligibility criteria. Several experimental protocols and laboratory settings were detected, but the different protocols did not seem to significantly reduce error rates in dental age estimation. The analysis of aspartic acid racemization in human dental tissues produced accurate and potentially reliable results for age estimation. Aspartic acid racemization stands out especially in the adulthood - age category in which other methods struggle to deliver proper performances. Studies with larger samples, independent testing, and standardized laboratory procedures are necessary. Equator-like reporting guidelines are encouraged to enable future systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111154
Number of pages13
JournalForensic Science International
Volume331
Early online date20 Dec 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

Keywords

  • Age Determination by Teeth
  • Aspartic acid racemization
  • Forensic Dentistry

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