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DENTAGE: A multi-component subadult dental age estimation method

Award Information

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Competitive Discretionary
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Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $567,920)

Forensic identification of children and adolescents typically relies upon age-at-death estimation determined on the basis of dental development and eruption. Current methods suffer from key deficiencies due to secular change, inability to account for environmental factors which influence dental development timing, and the lack of contemporary, population-specific formulae. The project “DENTAGE: A multi-component subadult dental age estimation method” leverages a large, diverse, contemporary dataset to achieve two important goals. Firstly, this project will evaluate four of the most commonly used current methods to provide forensics practitioners with detailed data regarding the accuracy, reliability, and ease-of-use of these methods in a contemporary US sample. As a part of this first goal, we will also evaluate the presence or absence of variation in timing of dental development in a contemporary US sample based on sex, ancestry, BMI status, and socioeconomic status. Secondly, we will apply these results to develop new models and methods for estimating age-at-death from the dentition of children and adolescents. These new genrealized linear models will allow users to account for ancestry affiliation, and, when available, other key data about the decedent such as sex, body mass status, and socioeconomic status. We will create an easy-to-use webtool to enable forensics practitioners to use these new dental age/age-age-death estimation models. DENTAGE will result in an improved, updated method that forensic anthropologists and forensic dentists will be able to apply in field settings, allowing for increased accuracy and efficiency in the development of a forensic biological profile. CA/NCF

Date Created: September 28, 2022