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How old are you?: a systematic review investigating the relationship between age and mandibular third molar maturity
Malmö University, Faculty of Odontology (OD).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1371-8770
Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
Malmö University, Faculty of Odontology (OD).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3362-3362
Statisticon AB, Uppsala.
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2023 (English)In: PLOS ONE, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 18, no 5, p. 1-14, article id e0285252Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Introduction and objective: Radiographic evaluation of the maturity of mandibular third molars is a common method used for age estimation of adolescents and young adults. The aim of this systematic review was to examine the scientific base for the relationship between a fully matured mandibular third molar based on Demirjian's method and chronological age, in order to assess whether an individual is above or below the age of 18 years.

Methods: The literature search was conducted in six databases until February 2022 for studies reporting data evaluating the tooth maturity using Demirjian´s method (specifically stage H) within populations ranging from 8 to 30 years (chronological age). Two reviewers screened the titles and abstracts identified through the search strategy independently. All studies of potential relevance according to the inclusion criteria were obtained in full text, after which they were assessed for inclusion by two independent reviewers. Any disagreement was resolved by a discussion. Two reviewers independently evaluated the risk of bias using the assessment tool QUADAS-2 and extracted the data from the studies with low or moderate risk of bias. Logistic regression was used to estimate the relationship between chronological age and proportion of subjects with a fully matured mandibular third molar (Demirjian´s tooth stage H).

Results: A total of 15 studies with low or moderate risk of bias were included in the review. The studies were conducted in 13 countries and the chronological age of the investigated participants ranged from 3 to 27 years and the number of participants ranged between 208 and 5,769. Ten of the studies presented the results as mean age per Demirjian´s tooth stage H, but only five studies showed the distribution of developmental stages according to validated age. The proportion of subjects with a mandibular tooth in Demirjian´s tooth stage H at 18 years ranged from 0% to 22% among males and 0 to 16% in females. Since the studies were too heterogenous to perform a meta-analysis or a meaningful narrative review, we decided to refrain from a GRADE assessment.

Conclusion: The identified literature does not provide scientific evidence for the relationship between Demirjian´s stage H of a mandibular third molar and chronologic age in order to assess if an individual is under or above the age of 18 years.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Public Library of Science (PLoS), 2023. Vol. 18, no 5, p. 1-14, article id e0285252
National Category
Dentistry
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URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-59643DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0285252ISI: 000993222400034PubMedID: 37200251Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85159764106OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-59643DiVA, id: diva2:1758541
Available from: 2023-05-23 Created: 2023-05-23 Last updated: 2023-09-05Bibliographically approved

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Klingberg, GunillaBerlin, HenrikTranæus, SofiaÖstlund, Pernilla

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