The estimation of dental age remains part of active research in forensic science. For accurate age estimation of living individuals in legal proceedings, a series of clinical and radiological examinations are carried out. The age estimation procedure often includes a physical examination, dental examination with dental status and an X-ray of the dentition, and an X-ray examination of the left hand or in addition the clavicles.
Stomatological staging techniques remain a key part of dental age estimation. In particular in a medicolegal context, the development of the third molar aids as an age indicator especially in adolescence. The third molar’s development is mostly impacted by genetics, whereas environmental factors seem to have a lesser effect on the development of the third molar.
Age estimation conducted by the rules of Demirjian and Nolla’s method may detect more advanced stages in minors. Nolla’s and Demirjian’s 2D and 3D imaging techniques present significantly different staging results. Adulthood can only be safely assumed if the third molar is fully matured. On the contrary, a vast number of individuals above the age of 18 present immature third molars.