Effectiveness of three age estimation methods based on dental and skeletal development in a sample of young Brazilians

Marcelo Afonso Machado, Eduardo Daruge Júnior, Mário Marques Fernandes, Igor Felipe Pereira Lima, Graziela Oro Cericato, Ademir Franco, Luiz Renato Paranhos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Objective This study compared three methods designed for age estimation. Methods A sample of 468 radiographs (234 panoramic and 234 carpal radiographs) collected from patients ranging from 5 to 14 years old (mean age: 11.27 years old ± 2.27 years) was used. Three age estimation methods: were applied: one founded on dental development, one founded on hand and wrist development, and a method combining both measurements. For each method, the mean error (ME), mean absolute error (MAE), root mean square error (RMSE), and mean percentage of absolute error (MPAE) were quantified. The methods: were compared based on their effectiveness for estimating age in relation to sex and age range. Results The data show that the method exclusively using the development of the hand and wrist had the highest error rates (ME: 1.28 M, 1.85F; MAE: 1.64 M, 1.96F; RMSE: 1.94 M, 2.32F) for both males (M) and females (F). In males, the method combining dental and skeletal development obtained outcomes that were slightly better than the method founded on only dental development (MPAE: 6.99% and 7.47%, respectively). In females, the opposite result was observed (MPAE: 8.48% and 6.59%, respectively). The method founded exclusively on skeletal development significantly overestimated (p = 0.001) the age (mean chronological and estimated ages: 11.27 and 12.88, respectively). Conclusion The methods involving dental development provided more accurate age estimates of chronological age. The method exclusively based on hand and wrist development resulted in outcomes that were highly discrepant from the chronological age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)166-171
Number of pages6
JournalArchives of Oral Biology
Early online date18 Oct 2017
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018


  • Dental age estimation
  • Forensic science
  • Growth and development
  • Human identification
  • Radiology
  • Skeletal age estimation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • General Dentistry
  • Cell Biology


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