Home / Bitemarks / Arch width changes from 6 weeks to 45 years of age – Full Text

Arch width changes from 6 weeks to 45 years of age – Full Text

This is an important reference paper that should be consulted by anyone who is asked about the size of bitemarks and their relation to the age of the suspected biter.  While the data are from orthodontic studies the paper is especially strong as it a longitudinal study – i.e. the authors have followed the development of the dentition overtime.  As such the evidence is much stronger than those from cross sectional studies.

The most important table in the paper is shown below – the details of the maximum intercanine distances for males and females from 6 weeks of age to 45.

The surprising finding is the similarity of the sizes between the ages.  For example at 8 years the male maxillary width is 32.5 and at 45 years this is 33.7 – given the standard deviations and the errors in measurement these data suggest that size alone should not be used to determine the age of a suspected biter.

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About Odont1

Odont1 is a seasoned forensic dentist, researcher and educator with an interest in progressing the science of the discipline while retaining those elements that are evidence based and useful to the judicial system at any level.

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