skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 141742 Find in a Library
Title: American Board of Forensic Odontology (A.B.F.O.) Study of Third Molar Development and Its Use as an Estimator of Chronological Age
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:38  Issue:2  Dated:(March 1993)  Pages:379-390
Author(s): H H Mincer; E F Harris; H E Berryman
Date Published: 1993
Page Count: 12
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Data collected on caucasians living in the U.S. and Canada were examined by the American Board of Odontology to evaluate the accuracy of estimating chronological age from the developmental status of third molars as viewed radiographically.
Abstract: The total sample consisted of 823 cases. Subjects' age at examination ranged from 14.1 to 24.9 years; 74 percent of the records were panoramic radiographs, the others were periapical films. The sample was nearly evenly divided between males and females, but 80 percent were white, 19 percent black, and 1 percent from another ethnic group or unidentified. The results showed that maxillary third molar formation was slightly advanced over mandibular third molars, and root formation occurred earlier in males than females. The Board tabulated mean and median ages for third molar formation using an eighth- grade classification. The third molar is not an ideal developmental marker because it is frequently congenitally absent, malformed, impacted, or extracted. It is also the most variable tooth in terms of size, time of formation, and time of eruption. Despite the drawbacks of using the third molar as a marker, there are situations where its formation is the only usable datum for age estimation. 3 figures, 5 tables, and 56 references
Main Term(s): Dental analysis; Victim identification
Index Term(s): Forensic sciences
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.