International Journal of Legal Medicine

, Volume 132, Issue 4, pp 1161–1166 | Cite as

The application of the Kvaal method to estimate the age of live Korean subjects using digital panoramic radiographs

  • Byung-yoon Roh
  • Won-Joon Lee
  • Ji-Won Ryu
  • Jong-Mo Ahn
  • Chang-Lyuk Yoon
  • Sang-Seob Lee
Original Article


Dental age estimation of the living is limited because observing the histological structure of teeth is difficult. Therefore, several methods have been proposed to estimate age by observing changes on dental radiographs of pulpal size caused by secondary dentin deposition. This study aims to evaluate the validity of the Kvaal method to estimate the ages of Korean subjects using digital panoramic radiographs and formulate regression equations for use in Korean subjects. We included 266 Korean subjects (age 21–69 years) visiting Chosun University Dental Hospital (Gwangju, South Korea). The pulpal size and width of six tooth types (maxillary central incisor, lateral incisor, second premolar, mandibular lateral incisor, canine, and first premolar) were measured on digital panoramic radiographs according to the Kvaal method. Statistical interobserver/intraobserver reliabilities were calculated to evaluate the reproducibility of the measured values, and correlations between actual ages and measured values were identified. The differences between the predicted ages and the actual age were analyzed. Paewinsky method was also applied and its validity was evaluated. In addition, a series of new regression equations for the age estimation of Korean subjects was produced. When both methods were applied directly to the teeth of the subjects, significant differences were observed between the estimated and chronological ages. The length-related parameters of the teeth of subjects calculated by the original Kvaal method showed no significant correlation. A regression equation derived from the width parameters without the length ratios is proposed for use in Korean subjects.


Age estimation Dental pulp Secondary dentin Panoramic radiography Kvaal method 



The authors would like to thank Soo-young Choi and Dae-seung Ryu for their technical assistance. This work was partly based on the master’s thesis of Byung-yoon Roh presented to Chosun University (Gwangju, Republic of Korea).

Funding information

This work was supported by the National Forensic Service (NFS2016MED04), Ministry of the Interior and Safety, Republic of Korea.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval for this study was granted by the Institutional Review Board of Chosun University Dental Hospital (Gwangju, South Korea) (approval no. CDMDIRB153).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Section of Forensic Odontology, Medical Examiner’s OfficeNational Forensic ServiceWonjuRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Oral Medicine, School of DentistryChosun UniversityGwangjuRepublic of Korea

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