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Institute of Dentistry - Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry

Professor Helen Liversidge, PhD (London), MSc (London), BChD (Stellenbosch, South Africa)


Professor of Dental Anthropology

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7882 8649
Room Number: Office 15, Floor 4, Institute of Dentistry


Helen Liversidge qualified in dentistry from Stellenbosch, South Africa. She worked in NHS and private general dental practice whilst at the same time completing an MSc (Mineralised Tissue Biology) and PhD (Human Tooth development in an archaeological population of known age) at University College London studying with Professors Alan Boyde and Christopher Dean (respectively).  She joined Child Oral Health in the Dental Institute, Barts and The London, Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry in 1985.  Helen teaches undergraduate and postgraduate dental students in clinical paediatric dentistry and has supervised numerous postgraduate research projects, PhD’s and joint supervision with Universities in Dunedin, New Zealand and Niarobi, Kenya.  Most of these students have presented at national/international meetings and have published their results.

Her research area and most important publications relate to tooth formation and estimating age from developing teeth. The need for research with impact was highlighted by the 2004 tsunami when forensic odontologists lacked an evidence base comparison of methods and a new atlas to estimate age  The new London Atlas of tooth development and eruption is free. An app has been developed and can be accessed here

Watch the Age Estimation - how to use the Atlas of Tooth Development here.

She organises the London Oral Biology Group which meet several times a year for research meeting and attracts scientists with interests in dental anatomy, physiology, zoology and palaeontology.

Centre: Oral Bioengineering


Clinical paediatric dentistry to 3rd, 4th and 5th year undergraduate students and dental therapy students.

Clinical skills to 2nd year undergraduate students

Tooth morphology, enamel, tooth formation and eruption lectures

Postgraduate teaching seminar


Research Interests:

The Atlas of tooth development and eruption was one of the Dental Institute Case studies for the 2014 REF. It was developed after the 2004 tsunami to help forensic odontologists estimate age. It is translated into 20 languages and is now routinely used in disaster victim identification teams around the world.

International collaborations assessing dental maturation in world groups include colleagues in USA, Canada, Europe, West East and South Africa, Malaysia, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. This project uses archived dental radiographs and findings show that all groups show considerable age variation in the timing of tooth development and differences between groups are small.

PhD student projects include the Atlas of tooth development and eruption, tooth formation in Sudanese groups and age estimation using cervical vertebral maturation. More than twenty Masters research projects supervised include radiographic studies of tooth development, tooth eruption, accuracy of age estimation methods and predicting hypodontia. A number of prize winning undergraduate research projects include topics such as developing teeth around birth, root resorption to estimate age and caries diagnosis from radiographs.


  1. Brief communication: the London atlas of human tooth development and eruption. 2010. SJ AlQahtani, MP Hector, HM Liversidge. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 142 (3), 481-490. 
  2. Accuracy of dental age estimation charts: Schour and Massler, Ubelaker and the London Atlas. SJ AlQahtani, MP Hector, HM Liversidge. American journal of physical anthropology 154 (1), 70-78 
  3. Bias and accuracy of age estimation using developing teeth in 946 children. HM Liversidge, BH Smith, M Maber. American journal of physical anthropology 143 (4), 545-554.  Liversidge HM. 2015. Controversies in dental age estimation. Annals of Human Biology 42:395-404.
  4. Skeletal maturity of the hand in an East African group from Sudan. F Elamin, N Abdelazeem, A Elamin, D Saif, HM Liversidge. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 2017 
  5. The growth pattern of Neanderthals, reconstructed from a juvenile skeleton from El Sidrón (Spain). 2017.  A Rosas, L Ríos, A Estalrrich, H Liversidge, A García-Tabernero et al. Science 357 (6357), 1282-1287. 

All publications: 

Full list on