Age estimation is of prime importance in forensic science and clinical dentistry. In children, age estimation can be done by skeletal maturity indicators like hand-wrist radiographs and dental age estimation. Skeletal maturity indicators compared with dental age estimation is limited as they are influenced by various environmental parameters, whereas calcification of teeth depends on genes rather than environmental factors. Many of the dental age estimation methods use extracted teeth, which are quite invasive, whereas Cameriere’s method is a recently introduced radiographic method first in European population; where in age estimation is done using open apices of teeth by orthopantomogram (OPG). Indian-specific formula was introduced later using permanent mandibular teeth on left side of jaw. The present study aimed to estimate the age and also to determine the accuracy of Cameriere’s method using Indian-specific formula on both right and left sides of mandible in Khammam population of South India and also to determine the side which can be efficient in determining age.
The present study comprised radiographs of 50 subjects (25 boys and 25 girls) ranging from 5 to 15 years. The soft copies of the radiographs of selected subjects were retrieved from the computer attached to the digital orthopantomogram machine (Orthophos XG5; Sirona Dental Systems). The 7 left and right permanent mandibular teeth were assessed in OPGs. The number of teeth with closed apical and with open apical ends of roots was examined and measured. The values were tabulated based on the Cameriere method of age estimation using Indian-specific formula. Statistical analysis was done using paired t test and Karl Pearson’s correlation coefficient test.
Comparison of dental age with chronological age in males showed non-significant results on both left and right sides of the OPG with a p value of 0.3765 and 0.3045, respectively. Likewise in females, p values of 0.2167 and 0.8089 were noted. When males and females were compared, non-significant results were obtained with a p value of 0.1613 in the age estimated on the left side of the OPG and a p value of 0.4322 on the right side of the OPG. Correlation test showed that left side of the OPG showed better results in determining age than the right side of the OPG with an r value of 0.9982 and 0.9485 in males and females, respectively.
Cameriere’s method of age estimation using Indian-specific formula proves to be an accurate and a reliable method which can be used to assess the chronological age of individuals. There is also a good correlation found between the chronological age and dental age of younger age group individuals.