Evaluation of Third Molar Maturity Index by Cone Beam Computed Tomography in Legal Age Estimation A Preliminary Study


AMERICAN JOURNAL OF FORENSIC MEDICINE AND PATHOLOGY, vol.44, no.2, pp.103-110, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


This retrospective study aimed to evaluate the accuracy and applicability of the third molar maturity index (I-3M) for discriminating Turkish minors from adults, and its relationship with chronological age using cone beam computed tomography (CBCT). A total of 122 CBCT scans of Turkish individuals (55 boys and 67 girls) aged 13 to 23 years were evaluated using the I-3M cutoff value. Chronological age gradually decreased as the I-3M value increased. The overall accuracy was 95.9%. The sensitivity and specificity of this test were 93.5% and 97.4%, respectively. Positive predictive value was 95.6%. The intraclass correlation coefficient values of the I-3M for the intraobserver and interobserver agreements were 0.998 and 0.996, respectively. This study showed relatively higher reproducibility of measurements on CBCT scans than on panoramic radiographs in the literature. Cone beam computed tomography may be advantageous and preferred over panoramic radiographs in distinguishing the legal age threshold of 18 years according to Cameriere's method when a more extensive investigation is needed to support the solution of challenging and uncertain cases in forensic medicine.