Role of forensic odontologist in Disaster victim identification

Geeta Sharma, Randhir Kumar Abstract: Disasters, whether natural, technological or man-made, are unfortunately a fact of life. The bodies of victims of violent crimes, fires, motor vehicle accident, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions are difficult to identify. The apprehension and subsequent prosecution of the perpetrator is essential to maintain law and order. Through the speciality of forensic odontology, dentistry plays a small but significant role in this process. The present article will review the role of dentist in disaster victim identification. INTRODUCTIONDental identification of humans occur for a number of different reasons and in a number of different situation. The body of victims of violent crimes, fires, motor vehicle accidents and work place accidents can be distinguished to such an extent that identification by family member is neither reliable nor desirable. The person who have been deceased for some time prior to discovery and those found in water also present unpleasant and difficult visual identifications. Dental identifications have always played a key role in natural and manmade disaster situations and in particular the mass casualties normally associated with aviation disasters. Because of the lack of a comprehensive fingerprint database, dental identification continues to be crucial in mass disaster. POSTMORTEM DENTAL PROFILING Unlike fingerprints there is no minimum number of concordant features that are required for a positive identification. A single tooth can be used for identification if it contains sufficient unique features. Equally, a fullmouth series of radiographs may not reveal sufficient detail to render a positive conclusion. The discretion of identification lies with the odontologist who must be prepared to justify the conclusions in court, surely the ultimate in peer-review. The forensic dentist will often work with a forensic anthropologists to help in identification of an individual or the development of a profile from remains. The determination of sex and ancestry can be assessed from skull shape and form. Generally, from skull appearance, forensic dentists can determine race within the three major groups: Caucasoid, Mongoloid and Negroid. Additional characteristics, such as cusps of Carabelli, shovel-shaped incisors and multi-cusped premolars, can also assist in determination of ancestry. Sex: Sex determination is usually based on c ranial appearance, as no sex differences are apparent in the morphology of teeth. Microscopic examination of teeth can confirm sex by the presence or absence of Ychromatin and DNA analysis can also reveal sex. Age:

Dr. Geeta Sharma, Asst. Professor , Dept. of Oral Pathology, Santosh dental college, Gzb., M.D.S. (Oral Pathology & Forensic Odontology) M.D.S.(Periodontics), DPH, Asst. Professor, Dept. Of Periodontology, S.D.C.H. Darbhanga Address for Correspondence: Dr. Geeta Sharma, Asst. Professor , Dept. of Oral Pathology, Santosh dental college, Gzb., M.D.S. (Oral Pathology & Forensic Odontology)

In developing a profile dental structures can provide useful indictors to the individual's chronological age. The age of children can be determined by the analysis of tooth development and subsequent comparison with developmental charts. Conclusions are usually accurate to approximately ±1.5 years. While eruption dates can be used in determining sub-adult ages, these are highly variable and the actual developmental stages of the teeth are more accurate.
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Journal Indo-Pacific Academy of Forensic Odontology Vol 2 (1) Jan.-June 2011

Unusual wear patterns may result from pipe stems. The identification process is fundamentally the same as that in a routine comparative dental identification. trauma. 6. Forensic dentistry. 44: 123-127. J. Int Dent J 1994. The quality. Borrman H. both physically and emotionally. Brannon R B. 3. Int J Legal Med 1995. 5. Problems of body fragmentation. mutilation and decomposition.R. 4. Br J Orthod 1998. c ommingling and incineration. 8. poor working conditions and physiological stresses. teeth represent an excellent source of DNA material. The presence of erosion can suggest alcohol or substance abuse. Andersen L. CONCLUSION : Forensic dentistry play a major role in the identification of those individuals who cannot be identified visually by other means. Radiology in forensic identification: the Mt. 42: 321-326. Richards B H. 107: 229-234. 51: 42-44. J Can Dent Assoc 1990. Morten. 119: 373-379. J Forensic Sci 1999. Dorion R B. Bibliography 1. Postmortem identifications of remains. An analysis of the value of forensic odontology in ten mass disasters.n a victim of murder. The identification of large number of casualties in mass disasters are complex and fraught with hazards. Problems in mass disaster dental identification: a retrospective review. quantity and presence or absence of dental treatment may give an indication of socioeconomic status or likely country of residence. Jones M L. 7. 2010 32 . Odontological identification of fire victimspotentialities and limitations.Other features can be useful in individualising a profile. suc h as inc ineration. the green river murdess. but the inherent problem are magnified. Clin Lab Med 1998. J Am Dent Assoc 1989. Rothwell B. Am dental association 1989. 25: 1114 . 56: 593-598. an eating disorder or even hiatus hernia while stains can indicate smoking. Whittaker D K. Juhl M. Kessler H P. mutilation. Dental identification in serial homicides. this biological material can provide the necessary link to prove identity. When conventional dental identification methods fail. all confounds the identification process. 2. Malkowski F S. 44: 241-250. 119: 373-379. Morton T H. Haglund W. Weedn V W. a study of personal identification. cigarette holders. Clark D H. Orthodontic reconstruction Rothwell B R. Dental identification in serial homicides: the Green River Murders. 10 . T. The present article help us in identifying individual in mass disaster who cannot be identified visually by other means. Foote G A. Erebus disaster. Alexander C J. 18: 115-137. Haglund W. hairpins. Dent Stud 1972. H. Because of the resistant nature of dental tissues to environmental assaults. Journal Indo-Pacific Academy of Forensic Odontology Vol 1 (2) July-Dec. Solheim T. Disasters big and small. immersion. 9. Australas Radiol 1998. carpet tac ks or previous orthodontic treatment.