Cementum annulation and age determination in Homo sapiens. II. Estimates and accuracy

Authors

  • Keith Condon,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Anthropology, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60201
    2. Department of Anatomy, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60612
    • Department of Oral Anatomy, College of Dentistry, University of Illinois at Chicago, 801 S. Paulina, Chicago, IL 60612
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  • Douglas K. Charles,

    1. Department of Anthropology, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60201
    2. Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois 60611
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  • James M. Cheverud,

    1. Department of Anthropology, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60201
    2. Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois 60611
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  • Jane E. Buikstra

    1. Department of Anthropology, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60201
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Abstract

The cementum annulation aging technique was evaluated in a sample of 80 clinically extracted premolars (age range 11–70 years). Demineralized thin sections (7μm) stained with hematoxylin were used. The correlation (r) between age and adjusted count (number of annulations added to age of tooth eruption) was 0.78 for the entire sample (N = 73) and 0.86 for a subsample in which teeth with periodontal disease were excluded (N = 55). Standard error of the estimates ranged from 4.7 to 9.7 years depending on sex and health status of the tooth. The technique provided significantly better estimates for females than for males. The overall inaccuracy (mean absolute error) of the technique was 6.0 years, with a bias (mean error) of 0.26 years. Reduced major axis regression of adjusted count on age produced a slope of 0.797 for the entire sample and 0.889 for the nonperiodontal disease subsample. These slopes are consistent with a hypothesis of annual deposition of cementum rings given a decrease in cementogenesis with increasing age.

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