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Dentinal Translucency Versus Width Of Cementum: Predicting The Age Of 55 Years In South Indian Adults Using Extracted Sectioned Teeth

Sanjeevareddygari Shylaja, Srinivas Munisekhar Manay, Kiran Kumar Ganji, Eppalapalli Sharath Kumar Reddy, Vishwakarma Raghu Vamshi, Farahnaz Muddebihal


The main intention of this article was to evaluate reliability of root dentin translucency (RDT) and the width of cementum (CW) in indicating the age over 55 years in forensic and criminal investigations. 600 non-restored, single rooted teeth (300 males and 300 females) which were extracted for periodontal, orthodontic or orthodontic purposes were collected. Each tooth was sectioned longitudinally until desired thickness (250 µm) was obtained. Both the length of the RDT and CW were measured from these unstained ground sections of teeth using ImageJ computer software. Pearson’s correlation coefficient indicated a very strong and positive correlation for RDW and CW with age in both sexes. Cut- off values of RDT= 7.07 and CW= 52.06 were obtained using maximum Youden’s index. The value for area under the curve (AUC) was 0.987 for RDT and 0.910 for CW was seen indicating a very high discrimination. The performance of these cut-off values was tested in separate sample of sectioned teeth (n= 300) and was analysed using contingency tables in both sexes. The sensitivity was 88.2% and 92.3%, while specificity was 98.9% for RDT in males and females. For CW, the sensitivity was 96.1% and 90.3%, and specificity was 76.7% and 74.4% in males and females, respectively. Bayes post- test probability was 98.9% for RDT in both sexes, while 80.5% in males and 78% in females, for CW. Based on our study findings, it can be concluded that both variables have performed well in predicting the age over 55 years. Further research concerning the study of deposition of secondary dentin in radiographs to predict legal age thresholds would be a great benefit for living adults who require the age estimation in civil proceedings.


Dental age estimation; Root dentin translucency; Width of cementum; Age threshold; Probability.


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