Age estimation by measuring open apices in teeth: a new formula for two samples of South African black and white children
In this cross-sectional study, the accuracy of Cameriere’s European formula was tested and a new specific model was developed for two samples of black and white South African children with known age and sex. For these purposes, 970 children of black South African ethnicity (girls 491, boys 479) and 974 with European ethnicity, living in South Africa (girls 493, boys 481), were retrospectively analyzed. The application of the European formula showed that there is a trend in the error estimates: the ages of the younger children are overestimated and those of the older children are underestimated, in both white and black children. A new model, based on the relationship between the apical width and the tooth length (maturity index) of the seven permanent mandibular teeth, was therefore constructed. The new developed equation for the South African population was able to explain 76% of total variance in white girls and 80% in white boys’ subgroup. On the other side, the model explained 76% of total variance in black girls and 78% in the black boys’ subgroup. The mean absolute error of the residuals (residuals = predicted age minus observed age) ranged from 0.718 to 0.769 years, with the interquartile range (IQRres) ranging from 1.19 to 1.31 years. Differently from the Cameriere’s European formula, the plot did not tend to underestimate the chronological age significantly as the age increases. Cameriere’s maturity index is reproducible in both samples of South African black and white children, for forensic purposes, and the Bayesian calibration approach is useful for a more accurate and precise estimation.
KeywordsForensic sciences Dental age estimation South Africa Forensic statistics Bayesian calibration
Compliance with ethical standards
The study was carried out in accordance with the ethical standards laid down by the Declaration of Helsinki (Finland).
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
- 2.Eikvil L, Kvaal SI, Teigland A, Haugen M, Grøgaard J (2012) Age estimation in youths and young adults: a summary of the needs for methodological research and development. Norwegian Computing Center 3–26Google Scholar
- 5.Annual Crime Report (ACR) of the South African Police Service (SAPS) (2017) Crime Statistics 2016–2017 financial year (www.saps.gov.za)
- 6.Campbell EK (2006) Reflections on illegal immigration in Botswana and South Africa. Afr Popul Stud 21:23–44Google Scholar
- 7.Statistics South Africa (2015) Documented immigrants in South Africa. Statistical release P0351.4. Pretoria http://www.statssa.gov.za/
- 9.Africa’s orphaned and vulnerable generations (2006) Children affected by AIDS, UNICEF, IOP Publishing PhysicsWeb. https://www.unicef.org/publications/files/Africas_Orphaned_and_Vulnerable_Generations_Children_Affected_by_AIDS.pdf. Accessed 18 April 2019
- 18.R Core Team (2017) R: a language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing, Vienna https:// www.R-project.org/
- 21.Demirjian A, Goldstein H, Tanner JM (1973) A new system of dental age assessment. Hum Biol 45:211–227Google Scholar
- 22.Phillips V, van Wyk Kotze T (2009) Testing standard methods of dental age estimation by Moorrees, fanning and hunt and Demirjian, Goldstein and Tanner on three South African children samples. J Forensic Odontostomatol 27(2):20–28Google Scholar
- 23.Uys A, Fabris-Rotelli I, Bernitz H (2014) Estimating age in black South African children. SADJ 69(2):54–58 60–1Google Scholar
- 24.LA Hargreaves PE, Cleaton-Jones LP, Fati P, Roberts GJ, Hargreaves V (1997) Eruption of primary teeth in South Africans from one year of age. S Afr J Sci 93:81–84Google Scholar
- 28.De Luca S, De Giorgio S, Butti AC, Biagi R, Cingolani M, Cameriere R (2012) Age estimation in children by measurement of open apices in tooth roots: study of a Mexican sample. Forensic Sci Int 221:155.e1–155.e7Google Scholar
- 30.Latić-Dautović M, Nakaš E, Jelešković A, Cavrić J, Galić I (2017) Cameriere’s European formula for age estimation: a study on the children in Bosnia and Herzegovina. South Eur J Orthod Dentofac Res 4(2):26–30Google Scholar
- 35.Metsäniitty M, Waltimo-Sirén J, Ranta H, Fieuws S, Thevissen P (2019) Dental age estimation in Somali children and sub-adults combining permanent teeth and third molar development. Int J Legal Med. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00414-019-02053-w
- 38.European Network of Forensic Scientific Institutes (ENFSI) (2015) ENFSI guideline for evaluative reporting in forensic science: Strengthening the Evaluation of Forensic Results Across EuropeGoogle Scholar