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Applicability of pulp/tooth ratio method for age estimation

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the reliability of the tooth/pulp ratio method in the process of age estimation at the moment of death in a forensic context and compare it with standard anthropological methods. After the exhumation of mass graves located in sites in Batajnica, Serbia, in 2002 and 2003, skeletal material was thoroughly analyzed by a group of anthropologists and pathologists. As a part of the investigation, orthopantomography (OPG) was performed for each individual. During 2018 these OPGs were reexamined for scientific purposes. Age-at-death was assessed by means of the pulp/tooth ratio method applied to all available lower premolars. Estimated age following standard anthropological methods and chronological age (obtained after DNA identification of victims) was taken from the records. Age estimation using the pulp/tooth ratio and standard methods was compared with chronological age. The pulp/tooth ratio method was accurate in 81.25% of all cases and the standard method was accurate in 56.25% of all cases. The pulp/tooth ratio method of age estimation was found to be applicable and accurate. However, age estimation should be based on all available methods.

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Acknowledgments

The study was supported by The Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the republic of Serbia, Grant no 45005.

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Correspondence to Danijela Djonic.

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Zelic, K., Pavlovic, S., Mijucic, J. et al. Applicability of pulp/tooth ratio method for age estimation. Forensic Sci Med Pathol (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12024-019-00200-8

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Keywords

  • Age estimation
  • Forensic anthropology
  • Mass grave
  • Adults