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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 65-67

Pulp length/tooth length ratio: whether a reliable tool for analyzing forensic age?

Department of Oral Pathology and Forensic Odontology, College of Medical Sciences, Teaching Hospital, Bharatpur, Nepal

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saneep Sharma
Department of Oral Pathology and Forensic Odontology, College of Medical Sciences, Teaching Hospital, Bharatpur
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijfo.ijfo_9_19

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Background: Age is considered an important parameter used in the personal identification of deceased or missing or live individuals. Anumber of researches have been done on age estimation, and these studies proved to be beneficial demonstrating various degrees of precision, accuracy, and reliability. Teeth are the most common material used nowadays for the estimation of age as they can be preserved for longer time after all the body tissues have disintegrated. Aim: This study aimed to device a method for interpreting the chronological age by correlating age and pulp length/tooth length ratio in the mandibular canine. Materials and Methods: In the present study, 120 extracted permanent mandibular canines were included from individuals with known age(between the age group of 20 and 50years) and sex. The unsectioned method was adopted to measure the pulp length/tooth length ratio. Digital Vernier caliper was used to measure the maximum tooth length, and K-file was used to measure the maximum pulp length. The obtained data were statistically analyzed using one-way analysis of variance test for continuous variables and unpaired t-test for unmatched variables. Results: Appreciable difference was seen in all the parameters such as pulp length/tooth length ratio of all the samples, having different age without any significant difference between the genders. With ascending age, gradual reduction in pulp size was observed when compared to total pulp length and cervical pulp width, depicting outstanding correlation with the chronological age. Conclusion: As teeth could be retained in the original form for a long period, dental age assessment is of use in normal day-to-day life and mass disasters. The results and observations depicted that, with advancing age, the length of the dental pulp chamber decreases vertically as well as horizontally as a result of secondary dentin deposition. However, these variables could not differentiate between genders. Thus, assessment of pulp length/tooth length ratio on the mandibular canine using odontometric procedure manually without any sophisticated instruments can be used as an alternative method to estimate the nearest chronological age with reasonable accuracy when radiographs are not available.

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