The chronology of second and third molar development in Koreans and its application to forensic age estimation

Sang Seob Lee, Young Sub Byun, Myung Jin Park, Jong Hoon Choi, Chang Lyuk Yoon, Kyoung Jin Shin

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32 Citations (Scopus)


The accuracy of forensic age estimation based on the chronology of second (M2) and third molar (M3) development was investigated using 2,087 orthopantomograms of Korean men and women aged between 3 and 23 years. The developmental stages of M2s and M3s in these subjects were classified using the criteria of Demirjian. Inter-observer reliability and statistical data on each stage of mineralization of M2s and M3s were evaluated. The left-right symmetries of the maturation degrees in the M2s and M3s were observed in both sexes, between which no arch differences were found, but statistically significant sex-specific differences were observed in some stages of M2 and M3 development. In multiple regression analysis, a strong positive relationship was observed between age and mineralization of M2s and M3s. The regression formulas for estimating the age of Koreans were presented based on sex and combination of teeth. These results suggest that the developments of second and third molars can be considered as valuable age indicators in Korean adolescents and young adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)659-665
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Legal Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2010 Nov

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank Dr. Hyun-Sun Lim (Department of Biostatistics, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea) for her helpful comments on statistics. This work was supported by the Korea Research Foundation Grant funded by the Korean Government (KRF-2008-313-E00569).

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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