Skeletal and dental age estimation of the living in a criminal scenario – case report

Izabella F. S. Goetten, Rhonan F. Silva, Ademir Franco (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Age estimation plays a fundamental role in forensic sciences. In practice, teeth and bones may be assessed to enable the identification of the deceased and profiling of the living. Minimally invasive radiographic techniques are used with application in civil and criminal scenarios. The current globalization increased the need of age estimation among undocumented individuals. This study aimed to report a case of dental and skeletal age estimation of an undocumented foreign assailant In 2020, an undocumented male was arrested by the police after alleged thievery in Northern Brazil. Police investigations registered a self-declared Venezuelan origin and age of 16. Considering 18 as the threshold of legal majority in Brazil, age estimation was requested. Hand-wrist radiographs revealed complete maturation of carpals, metacarpals and phalanges, as well as the ossification of the distal epiphysis of the radius and ulna. A panoramic radiograph was requested and showed that all four third molars had complete root formation (apex closure). For the purpose of forensic reporting, the skeletal maturation charts of Greulich & Pyle, 1959, and Gilsanz & Ratib, 2005; as well the dental maturation charts of Schour & Massler, 1941, and Alqahtani et al., 2010 were used. All the charts pointed towards an estimated age of >18. This case illustrates the applicability of dental and skeletal parameters for age estimation of the living involving undocumented foreign.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-108
Number of pages4
JournalRomanian Journal of Legal Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Age estimation
  • Forensic dentistry
  • Radiology
  • Skeleton
  • Teeth


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