Accuracy of the Demirjian and Willems methods of dental age estimation for children from central southern China.


Department of Forensic Science, School of Basic Medical Sciences, Central South University, No. 172. Tongzipo Road, Changsha, 410013, Hunan Province, China. [Email]


The aim of this study was to compare the accuracy of the Demirjian method and the Demirjian method as revised by Willems for age estimation based on orthopantomograms from central southern Chinese Han population aged 8-16 years. Discrepancies between chronological and estimated ages were statistically evaluated by analyzing 1249 orthopantomograms from 603 girls and 646 boys. Using the Demirjian method, the mean age estimates underestimated chronological age by 0.03 years (p = 0.48) for girls and overestimated it by 0.03 years (p = 0.59) for boys; these differences with respect to chronological age were not statistically significant. In contrast, the Willems method underestimated chronological age by 0.54 years (p < 0.01) for girls and 0.44 years (p < 0.01) for boys; these differences with respect to chronological age were statistically significant. Compared to the Demirjian method, the overall mean absolute error generated using the Willems method was slightly higher (0.85 and 0.86 years, respectively). Since the Demirjian method was more accurate, we highly recommend that it should be applied when estimating dental age in the Chinese Han population. Further modifications of these two methods for populations from other regions and additional studies of other age groups are warranted.


Central southern Chinese population,Dental age estimation,Han population,The Demirjian method,The Willems method,