Volume 36, Issue 3 (May 1991)
Age Estimation Using the Racemization of Amino Acid in Human Dentin
This study was made to improve the validity of age estimation from teeth using amino acid racemization. The correlation between actual age and the D/L ratio of aspartic acid was investigated by analyzing not only the total amino acid but also its fractionated substances, insoluble collagen and soluble peptide.
The coefficient values of correlation between the D/L ratio and actual age in adult lower central incisors were 0.996 (σ = ±1.0 year) for the total amino acid, 0.988 (σ = ±1.8 years) for insoluble collagen, and 0.997 (σ = ±0.9 years) for soluble peptide. The corresponding figures in adult first premolars were 0.991 (σ = ±1.6 years), 0.988 (σ = ±1.9 years), and 0.994 (σ = ±1.4 years), respectively. The reactive velocity of aspartic acid racemization was highest for soluble peptide in both the lower central incisors and first premolars and approximately three times as rapid as that for total amino acid. As a result, age estimated from the analysis of soluble peptide was most accurate. The velocity for insoluble collagen was slightly lower than that for total amino acid.
Age estimation was attempted from the teeth of an unknown body. These results suggest that the analyses, not only of total amino acid in dentin but also of its fractionated and extracted substances, can lead to higher reliability in age estimation. Soluble peptide, in particular, has been found to be most effective.