The Reliability of Chronological Age Determination by Means of Mandibular Third Molar Development in Subjects in Croatia*


  • *

    Supported by Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, Grant 065-1080057-0429 and 062-0653147-0500.

Additional information—reprints not available from author:
Tomislav Ćabov, D.D.S., Ph.D.
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
School of Medicine, University of Rijeka
Tome Strižića 3
51 000 Rijeka


Abstract:  The aim of this study was to determine the development of the mandibular third molar and its relation to chronological age. The evaluated material consisted of 979 orthopantomograms of patients of Croatian Caucasian origin aged between 5.7 and 14.6 years. Third molar developmental stages were evaluated according to the stages proposed by Nolla. The frequencies of different stages of mineralization and the mean value of the mineralization of the mandibular third molars with regard to age, gender, and size of the mandible were determined and the coefficient of correlation determined between the age of the subject and the stage of development of the mandibular molars. Statistically significant correlation was determined between mineralization of the mandibular third molar and chronological age of the subjects (boys, mandibular left third molar r = 0.779, right third molar r = 0.793; girls, mandibular left third molar r = 0.746, right third molar r = 0.725). It can be concluded that the accuracy of age estimation based on Nolla’s method is applicable for Croatian children.