Abstract: Dental root calcification has proven to be a reliable biological evidence to estimate chronological age of children. The development of structures usually examined in the age estimation forensic practice (e.g. skeleton, teeth) is supposed to be influenced by diseases and nutritional, environmental, ethnic, and ultimately even socioeconomic factors. This research aims to study the age estimation in children affected by juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA) with and without steroids treatment and compared with healthy subjects. Material and methods: Dental age estimations based on 752 OPGs, 420 girls and 332 boys, aged from 3.3 to 15.99 years, were provided by applying Demirjian and Willems’ original methods. Of the whole sample, 103 individuals were affected by JRA and 40 received a continuous corticosteroid therapy, over 1 year long. Conclusions: Willems’ and Demirjian’s original methods, as methods commonly applied to estimate age for sub-adults with unremarkable medical history, can be used for medico-legal purposes to children affected by JRA. Willems’ method tended to underestimate age while Demirjian’s method resulted to be prone to overestimation for both healthy and JRA-affected children. JRA showed to have no influence on root calcification process even in children that received steroid treatment for 1 year or longer.
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