Three-dimensional imaging has improved the method of analysis in many forensic science investigations. The study aimed to derive regression equation for age estimation by investigating the relationship between chronological age and surface area of the developing mandibular 3rd molars apices. Furthermore, other predictor variables: ethnicity (Malay and Chinese), gender and status of the root development completion (open/closed apices) were also investigated in terms of fit to the age estimation model. One hundred and twenty eight training and 55 validation samples of intact mandibular 3rd molars were selected from 183 CBCT scans. The samples comprised of 93 Malays and 90 Chinese, ranging in age from 13 to 24 years. Three-dimensional image modeling and surface area analysis of the developing mandibular 3rd molars apices were performed using Mimics and 3-Matics software. Multiple linear regression analysis was used to derive age estimation model using chronological age as a dependent variable and surface area of the apices, ethnicity, gender and status of the root development completion (open/closed apices) as predictor variables. A strong inverse correlation (r = 0.95, SD = 1.144) was observed between chronological age and all the predictor variables. The results showed that 89.6% of the variation in age can be explained by the predictor variables. Mean absolute error (MAE) value of 0.8223 was observed when the derived regression equation was tested on the independent validation sample. In conclusion, three-dimensional surface area analysis of the developing mandibular 3rd molars apices can be used as a reliable method for age estimation.