Journal of Forensic Dental Sciences
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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 47

Can dead man tooth do tell tales? Tooth prints in forensic identification

1 Department of Stem Cell Laboratory, Narayana Nethralaya Foundation, Stem Cell Laboratory, Bommasandra, Bengaluru, India
2 Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, Sri Hasanamba Dental College and Hospital, Hassan, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, School of Dental Sciences, KIMSDU, Karad, Maharashtra, India
4 Department of Periodontology, Kalinga Institute of Dental Sciences, KIMS Campus, Bhubaneshwar, Odisha, India
5 Department of Periodontology, School of Dental Sciences, KIMSDU, Karad, Maharashtra, India
6 Department of Oral Pathology and Microbiology, School of Dental Sciences, KIMSDU, Karad, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Vineetha Christopher
No. 193, ANANYA, High Tension Wire Road, Sharadadevinagar, Mysore - 570 022, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfo.jfds_24_16

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Background: We know that teeth trouble us a lot when we are alive, but they last longer for thousands of years even after we are dead. Teeth being the strongest and resistant structure are the most significant tool in forensic investigations. Patterns of enamel rod end on the tooth surface are known as tooth prints. Aim: This study is aimed to know whether these tooth prints can become a forensic tool in personal identification such as finger prints. A study has been targeted toward the same. Settings and Design: In the present in-vivo study, acetate peel technique has been used to obtain the replica of enamel rod end patterns. Materials and Methods: Tooth prints of upper first premolars were recorded from 80 individuals after acid etching using cellulose acetate strips. Then, digital images of the tooth prints obtained at two different intervals were subjected to biometric conversion using Verifinger standard software development kit version 6.5 software followed by the use of Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) software for comparison of the tooth prints. Similarly, each individual's finger prints were also recorded and were subjected to the same software. Statistical Analysis: Further, recordings of AFIS scores obtained from images were statistically analyzed using Cronbach's test. Results: We observed that comparing two tooth prints taken from an individual at two intervals exhibited similarity in many cases, with wavy pattern tooth print being the predominant type. However, the same prints showed dissimilarity when compared with other individuals. We also found that most of the individuals with whorl pattern finger print showed wavy pattern tooth print and few loop type fingerprints showed linear pattern of tooth prints. Conclusions: Further more experiments on both tooth prints and finger prints are required in establishing an individual's identity.

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