JFOS vol 39 n. 3 Dec 2021

December 27, 2022
ISSN 2219-67749
Vol 39
No 3 Dec 2021
Editorial Board
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Accuracy of four dental age estimation methods in determining the legal age threshold of 18 years among South Indian adolescents and young

Jaipal Reddy Pyata, Bhargavi Kandukuri, Usha Gangavarapu, Bushra Anjum, Bhavana Chinnala, Manasa Bojji, Amulya Gurram, Sudheer B. Balla

The aim of this study was to compare the accuracy, specificity and sensitivity of four commonly used methods of dental age estimation in a sample of south Indian adolescents and young adults aged between 14 and 30 years, with an age threshold of 18 years, using receiver operating characteristic curves (ROC) and the area under the curve (AUC). A total of 1070 orthopantomograms (535 males and 535 females) of adolescents and young adults of south Indian origin were collected retrospectively and interpreted. The effectiveness of each method was evaluated by using sensitivity (Se), specificity (Sp), likelihood ratios (LR+ and LR-) and AUC. Among all methods, I3M< 0.08 resulted in better values of AUC, Se and Sp which were 0.950, 91.5%, 97.8% and 0.950, 88.5% and 98.6% in males and females, respectively. For “stage H” of Demirjian’s system, the AUC, Se and Sp were 0.940, 84.9%, 97.7% and 0.930, 79.9% and 98.5% in males and females, respectively. The use of the Olze et al “stage 1 (or higher)” root pulp visibility and “stage D” of third molar eruption were not recommended in the studied population due to the greater percentage of third molars with incomplete mineralization in younger age groups and impaction. Taking into account the values of Se, Sp, both positive and negative LRs, we recommend the use of the cut-off value of I3M< 0.08 to discriminate adults and minors in south Indian adolescents and young adults. 

(J Forensic Odontostomatol 2021, 39; 3-2:15)

Evaluation of third molar maturity index (I3M) in assessing the legal age of subjects in an Indian Goan population

John T. Thilak, Khorate  M.Manisha, Desai R. Sapna, Chinam Nivedita 

India affords special laws and exemptions to minors under the criminal, marriage, labour and administrative laws. Many perpetrators claim to be a minor in the hope of a lenient trial and verdict. The authorities often rely upon forensic experts to provide evidence-based reports. The third molar can be relied upon in the assessment of legal age as it continues developing into the early twenties. The method established by Cameriere et al in 2008 provides an objective method for the accurate evaluation of legal age. Our study was designed to analyze and validate the efficacy of Third Molar Maturity index (I3M) in an Indian Goan population and compare it to published literature. 542 panoramic radiographs of subjects aged between 14 and 24 years were evaluated. The chronologic age increased as I3M reduced. There was no evidence of sexual dimorphism in third molar development across various I3M classes (p>0.05). Receiver Operator Characteristic Curve was plotted for males and females which showed an Area Under Curve of 0.95 (95% CI, 0.92-0.97) and 0.93 (95% CI, 0.90-0.96) respectively. 2×2 contingency tables were used to test the performance of various I3M cut-off values ranging from I3M=0.02 to 0.14. I3M = 0.08 showed the most promising results for the assessment of legal age. Our study achieved a high degree of accurate classification of 0.90 and 0.88 for males and females respectively. Results demonstrate a sensitivity of 0.899 and 0.854 and specificity of 0.90 and 0.93 for males and females respectively. The positive likelihood ratios were 9.88 and 12.44 while negative likelihood ratio was 0.11 and 0.15 for males and females respectively. A favourable Bayes Post Test Probability of 0.95 was noted for both males and females. These results allow us to strongly recommend the use of I3M for the assessment of legal age in an Indian Goan population.

(J Forensic Odontostomatol 2021, 39; 3-16:24)

Age estimation from dry bone measurements: evidence from a sample of soldiers exiled in two concentration camps in Bari

Mirko Leonardelli, Valeria Santoro, Alessia Leggio, Carmelinda Angrisani, Sara Sablone,  Franceso Introna, Antonio De Donno

The mandible undergoes remodelling and morphological alterations throughout the life of an individual, and it is subjected to sex- and age-related structural changes. Personal identification from skeletal remains represents one of the most difficult challenges for a forensic anthropologist. The study of mandibular morphology is an important aid in determining the sex and age of skeletal remains. The objective of this study was to evaluate the age-related changes of three mandibular dimensions through dry bone measurements: bigonial width, ramus height and gonial angle. A total of 93 skeletal remains were included in this study, from a group of soldiers of Yugoslav origin who lived in two concentration camps in Bari (southern Italy) during World War II. These are included in the collection of the Forensic Anthropology Laboratory of the Institute of Forensic Medicine of Bari. The measurements were recorded after comprehensive examination by a forensic anthropologist and a forensic odonto-stomatologist. The data obtained were analysed statistically using a bivariate test and a multivariate linear regression model, using the Statal 13MP software. The results indicate that the bigonial width and gonial angle vary significantly according to age. In conclusion, this study confirms that the mandible is useful for age estimation in the identification of skeletal remains using these specific mandibular measurements when performed on dry bone without radiological distortion. 

(J Forensic Odontostomatol 2021, 39; 3-25:29)

Applicability of forensic facial approximation in the recognition process of unclaimed victims

Julia Gabriela Dietrichkeit Pereira1, Marco Aurelio Guimarães2, Ricardo Henrique Alves da Silva

Background: Identifying bodies in a state of putrefaction, skeletonization or mutilation is often difficult. In these cases, it is possible to use auxiliary methods such as forensic facial approximation, considering the possibility of recognition by a relative or acquaintance, helping to obtain ante-mortem data for the identification process. The aims of the present study were to evaluate the capacity of recognition of individuals from digital facial approximation and to verify the association between the level of understanding of the issue by evaluators and the recognition success index. Methods: 16 skulls with previous photographic records were selected and then utilized for three-dimensional approximation using the digital technique, scanned by photogrammetry, and reconstructed by computerized method using open-source software. Twenty evaluators tried to recognize the facial approximation performed from images present in the photospreads. Results: The mean overall score was 23.75%, and it was observed that in only five approximations (31.24%) the option of correct recognition of the victim was the one that obtained the highest number of selections. False positives and negatives corresponded, respectively, to 11.56% and 12.5%. Conclusions: It can be concluded that the methodology can provide recognition albeit in low numbers, and permitting the acquisition of ante-mortem data for the proper process of human identification through primary methods. 

(J Forensic Odontostomatol 2021, 39; 3-30:40)

Forensic determination of dental age by cementum thickness of human teeth

Minja Birimiša, Jelena Dumančić, Marin Vodanović, Sandra Anić Milošević3, Marina Marić1, Hrvoje Brkić

The purpose of this study was to assess the correlation between the known chronological age and the dental cementum thickness (DCT) in male and female subjects in different age groups. Material and methods: The study sample consisted of 57 donor teeth of both sexes. Teeth were classified by donors’ sex and divided into three age groups: 10-19, 30-39 and 60-69 years. Tooth roots were cut with transverse ground sections in the apical, middle, and cervical thirds. DCT measurements were made on photomicrographs of light microscope. The correlation between DCT and the chronological age was calculated using the Spearman correlation coefficient. Results: A positive correlation was found (r=0.47, p <0.001) between DCT and age of the donor. DCT decreased from apical to cervical ground section (median [IQR] apical section 216.72 [128.25-375.00] μm, middle section 158.44 [87.66-284.90] μm; cervical section 96.60 [70.05-165.59] µm). DCT variability was influenced by sex, number of tooth roots and the condition of the tooth crown. The influence differed depending on the location of the section, being most prominent cervically. Conclusion: The present study showed correlation ​​of DCT with age, with significant influence of sex, number of tooth roots, condition of the tooth crown and location of the root section. 

(J Forensic Odontostomatol 2021, 39; 3-41:48)

Dental identification of unknown bodies through antemortem data taken by non-dental X-rays. Case reports

Ilenia Bianchi1, Martina Focardi2, Rossella Grifoni2, Silvia Raddi3, Amalia Rizzo3, Beatrice Defraia2, Vilma Pinchi 

The dental radiographic comparison is one of the most reliable and scientifically accepted methods for body identification (ID). The heterogeneity between AM (ante mortem) and PM (postmortem) x-rays images continues to stand as an issue for the forensic odontologist. Casual dental findings on X-rays for investigation of other structures than teeth or maxillaries, could eventually be a relevant source of dental data for the ID especially when AM dental files or X-rays are lacking. Two cases are reported in which the body ID was achieved through the comparison of PM dental X-rays with dental images obtained by radiographies of other structures (e.g. X-rays of the skull or cervical spine). These cases highlight that these occasional dental findings might provide sufficient evidence for a body identification. In the collection of AM data of missing people, the collection of all available records and radiographies of the head, neck and chest should be carefully reviewed by forensic odontologists, seeking for any available dental data 

(J Forensic Odontostomatol 2021, 39; 3-49:57)