DENTAL AGE ASSESSMENT: ARE DEMIRJIAN’S STANDARDS APPROPRIATE FOR SOUTHERN CHINESE CHILDREN?
Estimation of age is an important requisite in forensic, judicial and criminal proceedings. Dental age can be estimated from a dataset that has been prepared from a similar or a different population group. Demirjian and his co-workers proposed dental maturity scores from a French-Canadian population and this has served as a reference dataset for evaluation of age for various population groups. Considering the high number of illegal immigrants who have entered Hong Kong from neighboring countries, age estimation studies on southern Chinese is warranted. This study aimed to validate the applicability of Demirjian’s dataset on a southern Chinese population. A total of 182 dental panoramic tomographs comprising an equal number of boys and girls with an age range from 3 to 16 years were scored. Dental maturity scores were obtained from the Demirjian’s dataset and dental age was calculated. The difference in chronological and estimated dental ages was calculated using the paired t-test. There was a mean overestimation of dental age of 0.62 years for boys (p<0.01) and 0.36 years for girls (p<0.01). Demirjian’s dataset is not suitable for estimating the age of 3-16 years old southern Chinese children.