Journal of Forensic Dental Sciences
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   Table of Contents - Current issue
Coverpage
January-April 2018
Volume 10 | Issue 1
Page Nos. 1-57

Online since Friday, July 27, 2018

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GUEST EDITORIAL  

Future of forensic odontology in India with cone beam computed tomography p. 1
Parul Khare Sinha
DOI:10.4103/jfo.jfds_39_18  PMID:30122860
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REVIEW ARTICLES Top

Forensic photography: Prospect through the lens p. 2
Sofia Gouse, Shyamala Karnam, HC Girish, Sanjay Murgod
DOI:10.4103/jfo.jfds_2_16  PMID:30122861
Forensic photography is an indispensable tool in modern forensic odontological protocol which aids in investigative procedures, maintenance of archival data, and to provide evidence that can supplement medico legal issues in court. Proper selection and implementation of the appropriate photography and computer equipment combined with necessary training and correct workflow patterns make incorporating photography into the field of forensics, an easily obtainable goal. The role of the forensic photographer is crucial, as a good skill in photography with updated knowledge of the mechanics and techniques involved is required for proper documentation of evidence. This paper aims to shed light on the various aspects of forensic photography with emphasis on its diverse applications and advancements.
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Craniofacial and oral manifestation of child abuse: A dental surgeon's guide p. 5
S Karthika Nagarajan
DOI:10.4103/jfo.jfds_84_16  PMID:30122862
Children should be given the privilege to mature in a loving, supportive family environment that promotes the development of an individual to his/her full potential. The abuse and neglect of children is a problem that pervades all segments of society. Dentists/forensic odontologists are in a strategic position to recognize mistreated children. While the detection of dental care neglect is an obvious responsibility for dentists, other types of child abuse and neglect also may present themselves in the dental office. Once this information is known to the dentist, he/she can join physicians in protecting children from injury.
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Under the lens: Dental expert witnesses in Brazil, Croatia, Indonesia, Italy, Saudi Arabia, and the United Kingdom p. 8
Sakher AlQahtani, Ivana Čuković Bagić, Scheila Manica, Evi Untoro, John Rosie, Emilio Nuzzolese
DOI:10.4103/jfo.jfds_104_17  PMID:30122863
The dentists' main job is to restore health and function to the oral cavity. However, dental professionals can also be involved in medico legal activities as forensic odontologists or by being Expert Witnesses (EW) to testify in professional liability cases, car accidents and work-related injuries. When called to act as an expert witness by the Court, the appointed dentist has to combine both biological and technical knowledge with equivalent medico-legal and forensic knowledge. Spontaneous involvement in medico-legal matters without an adequate training and experience can lead to mistakes with irreversible consequences. As an expert witness, the dentist has precise responsibility with civil and/or penal consequences, depending on the national judicial system. Dental Expert Witness, working either privately or appointed by the Court, has defined responsibilities and is subjected to civil or criminal proceedings (depending on the judicial system) if found wanting. Keeping in mind that there are significant differences regarding the requirements of becoming eligible to be a Dental Expert Witness in different legal systems. In this work the authors investigated the Judicial Systems regarding the appointment of Dental Expert Witnesses in Brazil, Croatia, Indonesia, Italy, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom (Table 1), in order to marshal knowledge towards harmonization and the attainment of best practice. This premise acknowledges the fact that forensic odontology must encompass the necessity for robust systems of audit and accreditation for it to be accepted as an “evidence based” forensic discipline.Further steps to ensure quality assurance in legal dentistry and forensic odontology training should be considered to prevent the spontaneous involvement of inappropriately trained dentists to become involved in making decisions that are beyond their competence and expertise.
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ORIGINAL ARTICLES Top

Validation of the efficacy of age assessment by the Brothwell tooth wear chart, using skulls of known age at death p. 18
Ibrahim Alayan, Mohammed S Aldossary, Ario Santini
DOI:10.4103/jfo.jfds_15_17  PMID:30122864
Objective: The present study aims to validate the efficacy of age assessment by the Brothwell tooth wear chart, uniquely using skulls of recorded known age at death. Materials and Methods: Fifty Chinese skulls, of known age recorded at death, ranging from 16 to 62 years, were used. All the skulls were anonymized laid out, numbered 1–50, and using randomized tables. A 70-mm, ×3 magnification glass with light (Rolson, Ruscombe, Twyford, Berkshire, United Kingdom) was used to evaluate tooth wear patterns, and the age assessed using newly devised “age calculator” based on the Brothwell Chart. Results: The recorded age at death versus the estimated age derived from the Brothwell chart was statistically compared the weighted kappa score = 0.877, suggestive of a “very good” strength of agreement. Conclusion: The Brothwell chart, based on tooth wear, can be used as a consistent method of age assessment, allowing for easier and more rapid data collection with no loss of overall accuracy.
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Age estimation using radicular dentine transparency: A new innovative approach p. 22
Kavitaa Nedunchezhian, Nalini Aswath, Valarmathi Srinivasan
DOI:10.4103/jfo.jfds_71_16  PMID:30122865
Aim: To estimate the age of the individual from radicular dentine transparency and to derive a formula suitable for age estimation in the Indian population, using radicular dentine transparency. Materials and Methods: Seventy teeth samples of known age were collected from patients belonging to different age groups ranging from 11 to 80 years whose teeth were extracted for various therapeutic purposes. The samples were grouped from A to G according to their age, each group consisting of 10 teeth samples. Buccolingual sections of 100 μm thickness were obtained using hard tissue microtome. The sections were scanned using a flat-bed scanner. The scanning base of the scanner was pasted with a graph sheet and the teeth samples pasted on to the graph sheet were scanned with a resolution of 600 dpi, and the images were stored in a computer. The graph sheet was clearly visible in the area of transparent dentine, and the length of transparent dentine (i.e., the number of millimeters on the graph) was measured from the scanned images, stored in the computer. Results: A strong positive correlation between age and transparency of dentin was noted. The age was estimated with an accuracy of ± 5 years (61.4%) and ± 10 years (12.9%). The present study had a level of agreement of 71.4% with that of Bang and Ramm. Conclusion: Thus, transparency level of the radicular dentin increases with age, and it can be used as a single reliable parameter for age estimation.
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An insight into the awareness and utilization of “dental evidence” among the police force in Punjab p. 27
Deepti Sharma, George Koshy, Amandeep Pabla, Sanchita Garg, Manveer Singh
DOI:10.4103/jfo.jfds_70_17  PMID:30122866
Introduction: The prime objective of the subsequent investigation is to ascertain the identity of an individual by the evaluation of evidence and facts relevant to crime or disaster. The whole process revolves around the correct interpretation of the facts, reconstruction, and comprehension of the sequence of events and thus single evidence forms a very important piece of information. In most of the countries including India, forensic medical, and dental evaluation at the crime scene are performed by police officials as medical and dental experts are rarely involved as first responders. Aims and Objectives: This questionnaire-based study is aimed to emphasize the importance of dental evidence in human identification, age and gender determination, and expanding the role of dentistry in criminal investigations. Material and Methods: A questionnaire-based study was conducted among the 350 gazetted and nongazetted police officers posted in Ludhiana (Punjab) commissionerate. It was exploratory in nature. Results: We found that the gazetted officers, postgraduates, and personnel with <20 years of experience revealed that commendable knowledge, positive attitude, and approach for the practical applications of forensic odontology (FO) in routine investigations. Conclusion: Dental professionals and law enforcement agencies must go hand in hand so that FO can be utilized to its maximum potential.
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Estimation of time since death based on light microscopic, electron microscopic, and electrolyte analysis in the gingival tissue p. 34
Sivagami Muthukrishnan, Malathi Narasimhan, Sampath Kumar Paranthaman, Thamizhchelvan Hari, Pushpa Viswanathan, Sharada T Rajan
DOI:10.4103/jfo.jfds_36_17  PMID:30122867
Background: Estimation of time since death is an important parameter in forensic science. Although there are various methods available, precise estimation is still to be established. Aim: The present study aimed to evaluate the histological and ultrastructural changes in the gingival tissue along with the changes in electrolyte levels (sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium) among the three groups which included normal, 2, and 4 h since death. Materials and Methods: For light microscopic examination and electrolyte analysis, five normal gingival tissue samples were collected from patient following impaction procedure and five gingival tissue samples were obtained from postmortem specimen at 2 and 4 h since death. Each sample was divided into two parts. The first part was fixed in 10% formalin solution for the light microscopic analysis, and microscopic changes were observed between the groups. The second part was snap frozen at −80°C, until measurement of electrolyte using inductively coupled plasma-optical emission spectrometer, and the values were compared among the groups using Kruskal–Wallis test. For electron microscopic examination 2 and 4 h postmortem, gingival tissue samples were collected from the same individual and immediately fixed in 2.5% buffered glutaraldehyde, and the ultrastructural changes were compared with the normal gingival tissue. Results: The light microscopic changes were observed as early as 2 h since death, but there was no significant difference observed between 2 and 4 h postmortem samples whereas ultrastructurally significant difference in morphology was observed between 2 and 4 h postmortem gingival tissue. Our results can confirm histomorphological changes within 2 and 4 h since death.
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Comparison of palatal rugae pattern among Indian and Tibetan population p. 40
Jagadish Hosmani, Nikita Bhujang Gadekar, Vijayalakshmi S Kotrashetti, Ramakant Nayak, Deepa Babji, Sudhir Mishra
DOI:10.4103/jfo.jfds_18_16  PMID:30122868
Introduction: Palatoscopy is the study of palatal rugae pattern to establish the identity of a person. The palatal rugae are permanent and unique to each person and can establish identity through discrimination (via casts, tracings, or digitized rugae patterns). In addition, rugae pattern may be specific to racial groups facilitating population identification (which may require postdisasters). Hence, they can be used in postmortem identification provided an antemortem record exists. Aim: To determine the palatal rugae pattern and to assess the predominant palatal rugae pattern in Indian and Tibetan (in Mundgod Taluka, Karnataka) populations. Materials and Methods: The impressions of the maxillary arch were made for a total of one hundred adults comprising fifty Indian and fifty Tibetan populations aged between 20 and 40 years, and the dental cast was made using dental stone. The rugae were highlighted by a sharp graphite pencil on the cast under adequate light and a magnification lens. Rugae patterns were assessed using Thomas and Kotze and Kapali et al. classification. Results: Total number of palatal rugae in Indian population (461) was more than Tibetan population (351). Moreover, Indian population showed predominantly wavy (43.60%) rugae pattern, whereas Tibetan showed curved (38.2%) rugae pattern. Conclusion: This suggests that there is a difference in the rugae pattern between Indian and Tibetan populations. Hence, palatal rugae pattern can be used as one of the methods in determining the ethnicity.
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Berry's index: Adjuvant to bite marks p. 45
Sinthia Bhagat, Vineeta Gupta, Nutan Tyagi, Ettishree Sharma, Sonia Gupta, Mohit Dadu
DOI:10.4103/jfo.jfds_99_16  PMID:30122869
Introduction: Bite-mark analysis has proven its advantage as an important forensic tool in the past but also has a few limitations to it. To enhance its utility in forensic odontology in this study we have coupled it with Berry's Index (BI) which is an index used to select anterior teeth in prosthetic practice. Aims and Objectives: This study was attempted to analyze the applicability of BI in identifying an individual. Materials and Methods: This study was directed among 300 individuals with ages ranging between 19 and 30 years. The study conducted at Institute of Dental Studies and Technology College, Kadrabad, Modinagar, Ghaziabad. Out of the total population studied, 149 were males and 151 were females. The analysis of the data obtained was done using SPSS version 19. Results: The results in our study indicated that the widths of both maxillary central incisors and the bizygomatic width were found to be higher in females when compared to males. A positive correlation was observed between both the widths of upper central incisors and the bizygomatic width. Conclusion: BI could be successfully used as an adjuvant to bite analysis and could be an aid in determining the facial proportions of an individual from the width of the central incisors. This could further be correlated with the forensic facial reconstruction.
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CASE REPORT Top

Dental autopsy for the identification of missing persons p. 50
Emilio Nuzzolese
DOI:10.4103/jfo.jfds_33_17  PMID:30122870
Unidentified human remains require the complete collection of data during the autopsy stage to achieve, even belatedly, a positive identification. The very large number of people reported as missing in Italy (36,902) may represent an obstacle in the investigative process leading to the potential identity of the corpse, considering that 76.98% are foreigners. Add to this, the high number (1868) of “unidentified corpses” yet to be identified. A single case of a skeletonized corpse, listed in the list of nameless bodies is presented, with particular attention to odontology assessment. The case presented allows a broader definition of dental autopsy, which can no longer be considered a mere odontogram recorded by the medical examiner and/or a dentist with no forensic background. The case presented is not yet been identified also because no ante mortem (AM) identified data of compatible profiles has not been shared by the Police and consequently, no comparison of AM, and post mortem data could be possible. The failure to routinely employ forensic odontologists in the postmortem collection of identifying data of human remains of uncertain nationality and the reconciliation process will result in a reduction of additional findings, which, together with other circumstantial evidence and DNA profiles, can lead to a delay in positive identification.
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LETTER TO EDITOR Top

Dental age estimation in India: Do we have a role beyond publishing scientific evidences? p. 55
Jayakumar Jayaraman
DOI:10.4103/jfo.jfds_15_18  PMID:30122871
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