(Received 19 October 1994; accepted 10 January 1995)
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An attempt was made to estimate the age of cementum using the racemization method, which focuses on the ratio of D- and L-aspartic acids (referred to as the ‘D/L ratio’). Using the whole cementum, the correlation coefficients between the D/L ratio and age were r = 0.984 to 0.997. When the use of incisors and premolars was compared, the former gave better results than the latter. We then made a comparison of cementum, enamel and dentin, using a first premolar from the same individual. For each component tissue the correlation of D/L ratio with the actual age was calculated and the highest value was shown for dentin at r = 0.992, followed by cementum at r = 0.988 and enamel at r = 0.961. These results show that the racemization reaction in cementum proceeds at a constant rate, and confirm that cementum, like dentin, is a tissue with very low metabolism. Therefore, it is clear that accurate estimation of age is practically possible using the amino acid racemization method for cementum.
Kanagawa Dental College,
Stock #: JFS15388J