Journal of Forensic Dental Sciences
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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 38-45

Practical aspects of DNA-based forensic studies in dentistry


Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Sri Venkateswara Dental College and Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
J Muruganandhan
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Sri Venkateswara Dental College and Hospital, Thalambur, Near Navalur of OMR, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0975-1475.85295

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Forensic dentistry as a science has evolved from simple methods of age estimation and bite-mark analysis, to a new era of genetic and serological investigations. DNA analysis in forensic science requires a sample or source from either an individual (living or dead) or a crime/incident site. The orofacial region is a good source of such material, due to the fact that certain oral tissues are relatively resistant to environmental degradation and destruction by thermal, electrical, and mechanical insult. Dentists may be called upon to provide samples and expert analysis in many such situations. Sources include soft and hard tissues of teeth and jaws, saliva, biopsy material, and mucosal swabs. Tissue samples should be handled with care, and correct protocol in collection and preparation has to be followed. This ensures a high yield of the required DNA. Hard tissues like teeth require specialized procedures to extract the genetic material. Research has shown that there is a wide variation in the quality and quantity of DNA extracted from different individuals from the same site even under similar conditions. This necessitates calibration of the various methods to achieve best results. DNA analysis can provide highly accurate identification if used correctly. Here a description of the various sources in the oral region has been provided from which samples could be forwarded to the forensic laboratory. Most commonly employed techniques of collection and handling for laboratory procedures have been outlined.


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