Methods of Forensic Dentistry

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Forensic dentistry can be defined in many ways. One of the more elegant definitions is simply that forensic dentistry represents the overlap between the dental and the legal professions. This two-part series presents the field of forensic dentistry by outlining two of the major aspects of the profession: human identification and bite marks. This first paper examines the use of the human dentition and surrounding structures to enable the identification of found human remains. Conventional and novel techniques are presented.

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Forensic Odontology is the correct care, review and evaluation of dental evidence, to be viewed in the interests of justice. The proof that can be extracted from the teeth, age (in children) and identity of the adult to whom the teeth can belong. Forensic dentist knowledge requires a number of disciplines, as the dental records obtained can identify an individual Keiser-Neilson. Described forensic dentistry as’ that branch of forensic dentistry which deals with the proper handling and analysis of dental evidence in the interests of justice and the

By comparing dental records (ante-mortem with post-mortem) for identity, three types are investigated: teeth, parodontal tissue and anatomical characteristics.13 By comparing teeth, it is necessary to ascertain if they are current (erupted, unerupted, affected), congenitally absent or damaged ante-mortem / post-mortem, tooth category (permanent, deciduous, mixed, retained primary, supernumerary), What are the location of the tooth, the morphology of the crown, the anatomy and the root anatomy. Pulp chamber and root characteristics can also be considered as useful identification data. The pulp chamber can be used to determine the individual’s estimated age, as the size of the chamber ranges from child to adult teeth. 

The root morphology along with the pulp chambers Helps to decide if the tooth is from the maxillary or mandibular arch and to assess if the tooth is anterior or posterior. Incidents like plane crashes and fires can cause injury to the tooth’s coronal surface. Going to compare the pulp chamber and root morphology also allows for a successful identification. The root teeth surfaces have distinct shapes and curves that only. The teeth’s root surfaces have distinctive shapes and bends which can just be the secret to successful identification.

There are many specialty fields of forensic dentistry, including assessment of bite mark injuries, analysis of cases of violence (child, domestic partner or family), identification of human remains found and identification. in mass fatalities.

Historical Background

The establishment of forensic odontology as a unique discipline has been attributed to Dr. Oscar Amoedo (considered the father of forensic odontology), who identified the victims of a fire ­accident in Paris, France

One of the examples of forensic dentistry was involving Agrippina, Roman emperor Nero’s mother. In 49 B.C. Agrippina ordered the death of her rival Lollia Paulina who competed with her to be Emperor Claudius ‘ wife. Agrippina requested that the head of Lollia Paulina be seen as evidence of her death, but she was not sure that her opponent was dead until she found Lollia Paulina’s distinctive discolored front teeth.

Dental Imaging

Teeth aren’t fingerprints; from birth they’re not necessarily special. When teeth erupt, each person does so differently. Teeth grow an amount of 4 micrometers per day, so an approximation of a rough age based on the teeth can be given. Ethnicity can be distinguished from teeth, too. Some Asians and Native Americans have scooped-out rear incisors.

­ The tooth wear patterns often differ and can chan-over time. Not only can people be recognized by their teeth, but the state of their teeth also helps you to know a lot about their lifestyles and behaviors.

Some teeth have many surfaces too, such as molars. Each such surface has a name. The dent center is the biting area, known as the occlusal area. There are two components in this surface: the cusps, or raised parts, or the grooves or indentions. The tooth’s mesial surface is facing the mouth’s edge, while the distal is facing the rear. The side of the mouth to the inside is the Palatine upper jaw surface (lingual lower jaw area). The surface of the tooth the cheek faces is the buccal. And if you have a filling on the number 15 distal, you’ll know it means it’s on the surface of your upper second molar (or 12-year molar) towards the back of your mouth.

While you visit the dentist for a checkup, he or she uses a Common Device diagram and makes a notation for each tooth to display differences such as chips and dental treatment such as fillings, crowns and bridges. The dentist also makes clinical findings on the teeth, such as receding gums or symptoms of parodontal disease. Most dental visits include taking X-ray packages, which may also give cause for concern, like root canals. There is no teeth database that matches fingerprint or DNA databases and dental records are how forensic dentists recognize the deceased. Tooth enamel (the outer layer of teeth) is stronger in the body’s than any other material, that’s why teeth stay long after all Other sections went decreasing. Sometimes From their teeth, that can withstand temperatures above 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit (1,093 degrees Celsius), fire victims are known. Teeth that have undergone especially intense temperature are very fragile, and can shorten, but can be protected with lacquer and is used for identification as long as they are handled with great care.

DNA evidence analysisPolymerase chain reaction analysis (PCR) is a method used by the majority of countries. PCR is the quick, accurate, and responsive analytical process. The technique of genomic and mitochondrial DNA enables the comparison of DNA from one human with another. DNA variations are an extremely useful instrument between two individuals. DNA profile testing is fully accurate and provides specifics of the physical features, race, place of origin and sex of an person. Such assessments are also recognized as valid proof in court, for example for paternity inquiries and human identification

bite mark Criminals have been known to leave bite mark impressions at the crime scene, whether it be in food, chewing gum or, more commonly, on the victim. When a bite mark is discovered, numerous steps should be taken. Once the mark has been sufficiently photographed, a saliva sample is taken from the area for potential DNA evidence. Casts or moulds can then be made. If another bite impression is found elsewhere or if a teeth impression is taken from a suspect, a comparison can be made.

Bite marks may be found on the flesh of victims of a violent attack, particularly on the stomach, breasts or buttocks. Alternatively they may be found on the suspect, left by the victim during self-defence. The quality and accuracy of a bite mark are dependent on numerous factors, including time-dependent changes, where the bite mark was found, damage to soft tissue, dental similarity among individuals, and quality of photography, impressions or measurements. If a bite mark is only represented as a bruise, it is often extremely difficult to detect any individual characteristics.

Cheiloscopy and Rugoscopy

Lip prints may be used for verifying the person’s presence or absence at the scene of the crime. Wrinkles and grooves seen on the labial mucosa form a pattern known as sulci labriorum The research of lip-prints is named cheiloscopy.

Alternate origins may be palatal rugae used for the recognition of humans. The analysis of the identifying pattern for palatal rugae is identified as rugoscopy.

Determine the most common form of the research participants for lip print, palatal rugae and fingerprints. Second, to decide if some particular pattern of lip printing, palatal rugae, or fingerprinting correlates in individuals and thus to create a database of such prototypes for person identity from a given cohort.

Recent concepts in Forensic Dental Identification Forensic odontology is an evolving science and has a greater scope of development. It has established as an indispensable science in medico-legal matters and in the identification of the dead person. The dental tissues are often preserved even if the deceased person is skeletonized, decomposed, burnt, or dismembered. Various methods have been developed to determine age, sex, and ethnicity of the person, using dental tissues. Data collection methods and supplementary technologies used in forensic dental identification have undergone significant transformation. the recent concepts used in forensic odontology. Storing dental data, x-rays, and digital images, and distributing them on the internet, can help in social identification after accidents, and also help, using 3D programs, to identify the accused and analyze the signs of biting.

Faces are characteristic of any person born from the past in this world. Face is important to human identity, and is a gift to humanity. It plays a significant role in the forensic sciences because, if the deceased person’s face remains unchanged, the person’s identification can easily be rendered without any need for forensic specialists. Forensic dentistry just works Where the person’s face is lost In these situations the skull and the other bones may be the only component preserved. Also after millions of years, skulls will remain unchanged and can provide an inimitable means of identification. In deciding the individual’s sex the cranial appearance is very helpful.

dental age-estimation approaches are focused on lifelong changes affecting development and growth, and changes in postformation. Such techniques, based on tooth formation and growth, should be extended to sub-adults and depend on the evaluation of developmental differences in traditional radiographs, CT-scanning, or magnetic resonance imaging.


A person’s dental identity is based on distinct human dentition and dental restoration features. Practitioners and dental students should be made aware of current tools and their use in forensic dentistry. New work in the field of forensic dentistry needs to be promoted which will pave the way for the implementation of emerging technology in the establishment ofthe human identity.

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Methods of Forensic Dentistry. (2022, Sep 01). Retrieved February 1, 2023 , from

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