Setting the light conditions for measuring root transparency for age-at-death estimation methods

Joe Adserias-Garriga, Laia Nogué-Navarro, Sara C. Zapico, Douglas H. Ubelaker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Age-at-death estimation is one of the main goals in forensic identification, being an essential parameter to determine the biological profile, narrowing the possibility of identification in cases involving missing persons and unidentified bodies. The study of dental tissues has been long considered as a proper tool for age estimation with several age estimation methods based on them. Dental age estimation methods can be divided into three categories: tooth formation and development, post-formation changes, and histological changes. While tooth formation and growth changes are important for fetal and infant consideration, when the end of dental and skeletal growth is achieved, post-formation or biochemical changes can be applied. Lamendin et al. in J Forensic Sci 37:1373-1379, (1992) developed an adult age estimation method based on root transparency and periodontal recession. The regression formula demonstrated its accuracy of use for 40 to 70-year-old individuals. Later on, Prince and Ubelaker in J Forensic Sci 47(1):107-116, (2002) evaluated the effects of ancestry and sex and incorporated root height into the equation, developing four new regression formulas for males and females of African and European ancestry. Even though root transparency is a key element in the method, the conditions for measuring this element have not been established. The aim of the present study is to set the light conditions measured in lumens that offer greater accuracy when applying the Lamendin et al. method modified by Prince and Ubelaker. The results must be also taken into account in the application of other age estimation methodologies using root transparency to estimate age-at-death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)637-641
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Legal Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


  • Age-at-death
  • Biological profile
  • Dental age estimation
  • Light conditions


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