OBJECTIVES: This study investigated the degree of reliability, complexity of use and possibility of further refinement of eight radiographic methods for the age determination of subjects in the growth phase, applied on a sample of Italian population. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Each considered method was tested on a sample of 178 digitized panoramic radiographs (97 males and 81 females, aged 5 to 22 years). The obtained data were processed by statistical analysis. RESULTS: The overall Absolute Mean Error (AME) was on average equal to 0.89 years; within this error range fell approximately 61% of the subjects in our sample. The overall average of AME plus 1 standard deviation (SD) was equal to approximately 1.70 years, in the context of which fell about 84.5% of the sample investigated. CONCLUSIONS: The statistical analysis of the data obtained by applying on our sample the considered methods showed, for each of them, the level of reliability in terms of absolute error with the relative SD (i.e., exact match between the age determined by the evaluators and the actual age, in terms of absolute value).
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