• forensic science;
  • age estimation;
  • children;
  • accuracy;
  • tooth development;
  • hand-wrist bones

Abstract:  The aim of this study was to compare the accuracy of three methods for age estimation in children: the measurements of open apices in tooth roots (T), the ratio between the total area of carpal bones and epiphyses of the ulna and radius (HW), and the combined method (THW). The sample consisted of 288 Caucasian Italian children (152 boys and 136 girls) aged between 5 and 15 years. Accuracy was determined as the difference between estimated age and chronological age, and accuracy was assessed by analyzing individuals’ orthopantomograms and hand-wrist radiographs. Accuracies were 0.41 years for girls and 0.54 years for boys with the THW method; for the HW method, 1.00 years for girls and 0.92 years for boys; and for the T method, 0.62 years for girls and 0.71 years for boys. THW is the most accurate technique for age estimation in these children.