Effectiveness of Bang and Ramm's formulae in age assessment of Indians from dentin translucency length

Ashith B Acharya, S Vimi
International Journal of Legal Medicine 2009, 123 (6): 483-8
Age assessment may be a crucial step in postmortem profiling leading to confirmative identification. Among the traditional dental parameters used for estimating age, root dentin translucency is considered to be least affected by external stimuli and most suitable for the purpose. Using this variable, Bang and Ramm in 1970 developed an elaborate method and formulae for predicting age in Norwegians, and its efficacy has been examined in Indians. A total of 100 tooth sections 250-microm thick were obtained from as many subjects, scanned on a flat-bed scanner and the translucency length measured using a commercially available image-editing software program. Since age estimates in Indians was less accurate compared to the original sample, translucency measurements were subjected to regression analysis, and India-specific formulae were derived. The new formula was applied to a control group (n = 18), and the estimated age was marginally better, validating to some extent the use of population-specific formulae in forensic age estimation. However, moderate correlation of translucency length to age inherent in Indians may undermine optimal age prediction.

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