The use of fast and effective methods for estimating the skeletal maturity for pediatric patients, is fundamental for the opportune application of orthopedic/orthodontic treatments. In pediatric dentistry, the panoramic radiography as a routine diagnostic method, can be used to estimate the stage of maturation in these patients, through the calculation of dental age. The aim of the present study is to determine the correlation between the chronological and dental ages, with the cervical vertebrae stages of skeletal maturity, through the non-parametric Spearman statistical method. An observational, transversal, and analytical design was employed. The sample consisted of 516 records from patients between 5 and 15 years of age, systemically healthy, with panoramic and lateral skull radiographs taken on the same date. The chronological age of each patient was determined according to the clinical history. Dental age of each patient was calculated with the Demirjian approach, and the stage of maturation of cervical vertebrae was determined by means of the Lamparski method. The results showed a correlation of 72 % between chronological age and bone maturation, a correlation of 66 % between dental age and bone maturation, and a correlation of 86 % between chronological and dental age. It is concluded that both chronological and dental age exhibit a high correlation with the correspondent stage of vertebral maturity. Thus, dental and chronological age are appropriate indicators to estimate, with high precision the stage of skeletal maturation in pediatric patients.
KEY WORDS: Biological age; Dental age; Bone age.