Objectives: This study evaluated the predictive potential of a method for estimating the chronological age ofchildren and adolescents based on measuring the height and width of their mandibular teeth.
Methods:We analysed 650 orthopantomographies of Spanish Caucasians (330 boys, 320 girls) aged 5 to 16,obtained from the School of Medicine and Dentistry of the Universidade de Santiago de Compostela (Galicia,Spain). The eights/widths of teeth numbers 47, 46, 45, 44, 34, 35, 36 and 37 were measured. The variableheight/width ratio of tooth 47 had the greatest Spearman correlation with chronological age (rho ≥0.914), andwas therefore used to predict chronological age by applying a simple linear regression and evaluating themodel obtained using the coefficient of determination (R). The actual and predicted chronological ages werecompared to obtain the error and absolute error values.
Results:The R value was good in both models, with the independent variable "R47" explaining 86 and 84%of "chronological age" in the boys and girls, respectively. The height/width ratio of tooth 47 produced a meanand median error of 8.924 and -0.029 years for the boys and 5.770 and -0.010 years for the girls. Themean and median absolute error was 0.944 and 0.810 years for the boys and 0.971 and 0.892 years for thegirls. The 6-9 and 15-16 age groups had the lowest and highest errors, respectively, in both sexes.
Conclusions: The height/width ratio of tooth 47 produced an average error of less than one year whenestimating the chronological age of subjects aged up to 16. This degree of optimal precision is comparable tothat of other age-estimation procedures for children and adolescents, but has the added value of greater easewhen obtaining measurements than approaches like Cameriere's.
Keywords: Biomedical imaging