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The Third Molar as an Age Marker in Adolescents: New Approach to Age Evaluation

Authors

  • Eva Rozkovcova M.D., Ph.D,

    1. Department of Stomatology, 1st Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague and General University Hospital in Prague, Kateřinská 32, 121 08 Prague 2, Czech Republic
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  • Tatjana Dostalova M.D., Ph.D., DrSc., MBA,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Paediatric Stomatology, 2nd Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague and Faculty Hospital in Motol, V Uvalu 84, 15006 Prague 5, Czech Republic
    • Additional information and reprint requests:

      Tatjana Dostalova, Prof., M.D., Ph.D. DrSc., MBA

      Department of Paediatric Stomatology and Faculty Hospital Motol

      Charles University, 2nd Medical Faculty

      V Uvalu 84

      150 06 Prague 5

      Czech Republic

      E-mail: tatjana.dostalova@fnmotol.cz

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  • Marie Markova Ph.D.,

    1. Department of Stomatology, 1st Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague and General University Hospital in Prague, Kateřinská 32, 121 08 Prague 2, Czech Republic
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  • Zdenek Broukal Ph.D.

    1. 1st Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Clinical and Experimental Stomatology, Charles University in Prague and General University Hospitalin Prague, Karlovo nam, Czech Republic
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  • Study supported by Project No. 9991-4 and 13351- 4 IGA MZCR.

Abstract

Adolescence is a relatively short period between childhood and adulthood. It is very difficult to determine adulthood based on biological indicators. The third molar may be considered a potential age marker for the period between the ages of 16–21. Our study evaluated a set of 1700 panoramic radiographs of individuals aged between 5 and 21 years. Results confirmed the statistically significant difference in the course of third molars development. The mean deviation for individuals with one third molar agenesis is −0.98 years, for individuals with two third molars agenesis −1.89 years, and with three molars agenesis −3.28 years. Thus, the extent of the deviation is directly proportional to the number of unformed third molars. The calculation of age according to the mean of stages of all third molars could lead to the underestimation of age. No intergender differences were found. Age determination using third molars could be used for forensic purposes.

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