The coronal pulp cavity index: A forensic tool for age determination in adults

Swati Shrikant Gotmare, Tanmik Shah, Treville Periera, Mandavi S. Waghmare, Subraj Shetty, Sushama Sonawane, Maina Gite


Background: Various biochemical and histological methods are available for human age
determination which are invasive and may require extraction of teeth. The present study aims
to assess the accuracy of age estimation from tooth‑coronal index (TCI) of known age and sex
individuals and to present a noninvasive method for age estimation.
Materials and Methods: This retrospective study comprised 88 patients, which included 54 males
and 34 females. An orthopantomogram of these individuals were taken, and premolars and molars
in the same were evaluated. The height of the crown (coronal height [CH]) and the height of the
coronal pulp cavity (coronal pulp cavity height [CPCH]) was digitally measured on the computer
screen. The TCI given by Ikeda et al. in 1985 (TCI = [CPCH × 100]/CH.) was computed on each
tooth and regressed on real age of the sample. The mean, median, range, and standard deviation of
the computed index were calculated. The correlation between the actual age and the estimated
age was calculated using t‑test. P < 0.05 was considered significant.
Results: Results revealed that there is a significant correlation between the TCI with age. Increase
in TCI observed with age; however, it showed no significant sex difference.
Conclusion: TCI is a precise, noninvasive and easily used reliable biomarker for age estimation
and is applicable to both living and dead individuals.
Key Words: Age, estimation, forensic science, noninvasive

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