The usage of third molars to determine legally relevant age thresholds in Turkey

Karadayi B., KAYA A. , Afsin H., Ozaslan A., Cetin G.

AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF FORENSIC SCIENCES, vol.47, no.3, pp.275-282, 2015 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 47 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/00450618.2014.957345
  • Page Numbers: pp.275-282


From a forensic perspective, attaining the ages of 12, 15 and 18 is particularly important with respect to the Turkish Penal Code (TPC). The aim of this study is to obtain data regarding third molar development in the Turkish population for age estimation and to investigate the contribution of third molar development to age estimation in relation to the TPC. The study was applied with panoramic radiography on 379 male and 405 female subjects. The mineralization status of the third molars were evaluated on the basis of Demirjian's classification system. It was determined that 0' and A' stages for under-12 years of age, B' and C' stages for under-15, D' stage for under-18, E' and F' stages for over-12, G' stage for over-15 and H' stage for over-18 were specific stages for both genders. Specific stages that are detected according to the developmental stages of the third molars were not found to be adequately precise for distinguishing legal age thresholds. However, this study shows that matured third molars (reaching H stage) are indicative of an individual's being over 18years of age for both genders in Turkey.