Balla, Sudheer B., Galic, Ivan, P., Karunakar, Vanin, Stefano, De Luca, Stefano and Cameriere, Roberto (2017) Validation of third molar maturity index (I 3M ) for discrimination of juvenile/adult status in South Indian population. Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine, 49. pp. 2-7. ISSN 1752-928X

Deliberate falsification of age was considered to be one of the main reasons for forensic age estimation of the living individuals. This posed to be a challenging task during criminal and legal proceedings, and ultimate care must be taken not to classify juveniles as adults. Third molars are the only developing teeth during late adolescence and early adulthood. Our study was designed to analyze the usefulness of the third molar maturity index (I3M) specific cut-off value (I3M < 0.08) to discriminate adults (≥18 years) and juveniles (<18 years) in South Indian children.

216 panoramic radiographs (114 females and 102 males) of living subjects aged between 14 and 21 years were analyzed. Our results demonstrated high sensitivity (83.3% and 90.2%) and specificity (98.3% and 95.1%) for females and males respectively. The positive likelihood ratios of being adult were 50.00 and 18.35 while the negative likelihood ratios were 0.17 and 0.10 in females and males respectively. The estimated posttest probability was 98.0% in females and 94.8% in males. The obtained results showed that the specific cut-off value of I3M < 0.08 may be a useful additional tool in discrimination of individuals who are around 18 years of age.

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