Volume 47, Issue 3 (May 2002)
The Accuracy and Precision of Third Molar Development as an Indicator of Chronological Age in Hispanics
The accuracy and precision of chronological age estimation based on the stages of third molar tooth development was studied in a sample of 679 radiographs from individuals of Hispanic origin. The age range was 14.0 to 25.0 years. Eight raters from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Dental Branch evaluated the radiographs according to Demirjian's schematic definitions of crown and root formation. The objective of this study was to evaluate the chronology of third molar development in Hispanics following the protocol of a previous study. Within the Hispanic population, the rate of male third molar development is greater than that of female third molar development for ten stages of crown-root formation. Also within this Hispanic population sample, the rate of maxillary third molar development is ahead of mandibular third molar development. The mean absolute difference between chronological age and estimated age was ±3.0 years in females and ±2.6 years in males.