Volume 36, Issue 3 (May 1991)
Maxillary Suture Obliteration: A Visual Method for Estimating Skeletal Age
The purpose of this study was to develop a method of estimating the age of an individual based on obliteration of the four maxillary (palatal) sutures. A sample of 186 individuals of known age, race, and sex were examined. It was found that males of both races (black and white) exhibit more suture obliteration than females at the same age. During the early adult years, maxillary suture obliteration progresses at nearly the same rate in both sexes; however, the age of old individuals may be greatly overestimated using this method. Although this method cannot be used for exact estimates of individual age, it is valuable in establishing the age range, sorting commingled remains, and estimating skeletal age when only the maxilla is present.