Journal of Forensic Dental Sciences
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   Table of Contents - Current issue
Coverpage
September-December 2018
Volume 10 | Issue 3
Page Nos. 117-168

Online since Monday, May 13, 2019

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GUEST EDITORIAL  

Forensic odontology: A paradigm shift in the Indian context p. 117
Abraham Johnson
DOI:10.4103/jfo.jfds_84_18  
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REVIEW ARTICLES Top

The use of dental records as a tool for the Unique Identification Authority of India in personal identification: A proposal p. 119
Karandeep Singh Arora, Rahul Bansal
DOI:10.4103/jfo.jfds_80_18  
The Unique Identification Authority of India is a statutory authority established in 2009, which had started a campaign of issuing Aadhaar (unique identification) cards to every citizen of India under the slogan “Mera Aadhaar Meri Pehchaan” (my unique identification my identity). The government is taking all possible initiatives to make Aadhaar card the identity of an individual and is taking all measures of linking all the valid government-issued documents (such as driving license, PAN card, subsidies etc.) with this card. However, it is a matter of great sadness that some antisocial elements of the society forge or misuse the government-issued identity card and create a fake identity. To strengthen this initiative of unique identification, the dental records need to be amalgamated with this campaign. This article evaluates the importance of maintaining dental records and personal identification and also defines a proposal of linking these dental records to Aadhaar card in India.
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Salivary signature in forensic profiling: A scoping review p. 123
Priyanka Kapoor, Aman Chowdhry
DOI:10.4103/jfo.jfds_30_18  
Background: Saliva has recently served as a primary investigative tool in forensics in the detection of crime, cases of sexual assaults, human and animal bite marks, poisoning, hormone identification, and alcohol and drug abuse. Aim: This scoping review aimed to comprehensively identify the role of saliva in comparative and reconstructive identification and propose the concept of salivary signature (SS) in forensics. Methodology: A literature search was performed on electronic databases, PubMed and Google Scholar with keywords, “salivary,” “microbiome,” and “forensics,” and relevant articles identified along with reference tracking. Results: SS model was based on salivary microbiome and biomarkers which together provide pertinent information about lifestyle, behavioral patterns, circadian rhythms, geolocation, cohabitation of individuals, postmortem intervals, systemic and oral ailments or cancers besides salivary flow and composition. Conclusions: This communication highlights the constituents of SS and their significance in forensics. It also enumerates factors altering SS, limitations owing to diversity in microbiome and biomarker status, and possible measures to improve its accuracy and robustness in forensics.
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Forensic pediatric dentistry p. 128
Thorakkal Shamim
DOI:10.4103/jfo.jfds_79_17  
Forensic dentistry is the legal field of dentistry which analyses dental evidence in the interest of justice. Pediatric dentistry is that dental specialty concerned with the treatment of dental diseases in children. This specialty is utilized for identification of individuals through visual, clinical, and radiographic interpretation of sound and caries involved teeth, eruption sequence of teeth, shedding sequence of teeth, tooth calcification and maturation, fracture of teeth, root canal therapy, type of restorations and dental crowns and bridges, pit and fissure sealants, appliances, oral and maxillofacial pathologies and associated syndromes and injuries of teeth and tooth mark examination. This specialty is also utilized for age estimation studies which include eruption sequence, Schour and Massler chart, Demirjian's method using dental maturation chart, and Nolla's stages of calcification. This specialty also plays an important role in recognizing child abuse. This paper aims to discuss the forensic aspect of pediatric dentistry from the Indian context.
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ORIGINAL ARTICLES Top

Assessment of correlation between dental calcification stages and skeletal maturity indicators p. 132
Akshaya Ojha, MA Prasanth, Vikram Singh, Tarun Sihag, Varsha Bhati, Himanshi Tomar
DOI:10.4103/jfo.jfds_55_16  
Introduction: Assessment of age is a critical step in the identification of an individual in forensic cases. The hand–wrist radiographic evaluation and tooth development is also a useful measure of maturity because it represents a series of recognizable changes that occur in the same sequence from an initial event to a constant end point. Aim of the Study: To investigate the relationship of dental calcification stages and skeletal maturity indicators as assessed by the hand–wrist bone radiograph. Objectives: (1) Correlation of dental calcification stages and skeletal maturation. Information for decision-making in treatment plan in growing patients. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional pilot study was performed using orthopantomograph (OPG) and hand–wrist radiographs of fifty children (25 males and 25 females) with age ranging from 8 to 14 years. The hand–wrist radiographs and OPG were analyzed using Fishman's Skeletal Maturity Index and the Demirjian's system, respectively. SPSS software version 19 (IBM) was used in the calculation of all statistical analyses. Results: Correlation coefficient ranged from 0.61 to 0.83 for males and from 0.81 to 0.86 for females. The canine stage F for both sexes coincided with the MP3 stage, which is indicative of the onset of a period of accelerating growth. Conclusion: The findings of this pilot study indicated that tooth calcification stages might be clinically used as a maturity indicator of the pubertal growth period.
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Tooth reconstruction in forensic situations through dental materials: An anatomical art Highly accessed article p. 137
Gargi Jani, Abraham Johnson
DOI:10.4103/jfo.jfds_92_18  
Introduction: Dental identification is a frequently applied method of forensic investigation, in mass disasters, accidents, and criminal investigations, where the human remains are decomposed, charred, or skeletonized. However, in such events, teeth may dislodge due to postmortem loss or mishandling during transporting and packaging which may further hamper with the identification of an individual. Aim: To investigate the potential for reconstruction of missing teeth utilizing dental materials. Subjects and Methods: Impressions of the intra-alveolar morphology of the empty sockets of a mandible were taken utilizing different impression materials. Positive replicas were prepared, and the profile of the missing/absent dental roots and crowns was constructed. Standardized radiographs were taken to assess the reliability of the method. Results: Based on the subjective observation, the combination of light body and heavy body (Putty)-addition silicone (for negative replica), self-cure (pink-colored) resin (for positive replica), and flowable composite resin (for reconstruction) gave the best outcome among the materials used. Conclusion: Tooth reconstruction utilizing dental materials that may help in comparative identification.
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Correlative study on lip prints, fingerprints, and mandibular intercanine distance for gender determination p. 143
JK Sonia Bai, A Ravi Prakash, A Vikram Simha Reddy, M Rajinikanth, S Sreenath, K Veera Kishore Kumar Reddy
DOI:10.4103/jfo.jfds_22_16  
Context: “Identity” is a set of physical characteristics, functional or psychic, normal or pathological, that defines an individual. Identification of an individual is a crucial and an exigent task in forensic investigation. Aims: The aim of the present pilot study was to investigate the accuracy of various methods employed in gender determination such as lip prints, mandibular canine index (MCI), fingerprints, and correlation between them. Subjects and Methods: The pilot study group consisted of 300 samples aged between 18 and 25 years. Lip prints, fingerprints, and impressions of lower mandibular arches were collected. Statistical Analysis Used: The results were analyzed using Chi-square test for lip prints and fingerprints with an independent sample t-test for the MCI. Intergroup comparison between the parameters was analyzed by ANNOVA test. Results: Type II lip print pattern and loop pattern of fingerprints were the predominant patterns in both males and females, and mesiodistal width of right MCI has greater sexual dimorphism than left MCI. Conclusions: Although lip prints, fingerprints, and MCI had their own specifications, correlation of the three parameters did not show any significance.
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Facial indices in lateral cephalogram for sex prediction in Chennai population – A semi-novel study p. 151
Mary Sheloni Missier, Selwin Gabriel Samuel, Ashwin Mathew George
DOI:10.4103/jfo.jfds_81_18  
Background: Osteological examination is a very reliable tool to determine the sex of the individual as the consolidation of the dimorphic characteristics concludes the sex of the individual. This study was performed with lateral cephalograms, which is a vital diagnostic tool for patients undergoing orthodontic treatment. An index was formed, which could be considered as a reliable sex determinant in forensic applications. Materials and Methods: This pilot study was performed on samples of the Dravidian population. Two-fifty individuals, whose age ranged between 25 and 40 years, were taken (125 subjects were males and 125 subjects were females). A total of ninety-nine cephalometric variables were compared, subjected to statistical analysis and tested for significance using the t-test. Results: Out of a total of 99 variables tested only twenty-four variables showed statistical significance. So, these twenty-four variables were then subjected to discriminant function analysis to evaluate the effectiveness of each variable in predicting the sex of an individual Individually, Ramus length (Ramus ln), Condylion to Gnathion (Co-Gn) and ramus height showed the highest sex determining dependability of 78%. On the flipside, lower anterior facial height (LAFH), with 52%, showed the lowest consistency. Conclusion: From this study, it is clearly evident that cephalometric landmarks are reliable sex determinants to a good extent. All the statistically significant measurements, but one, showed acceptable percentages of reliability. This means the chosen variables can be used for the Dravidian population to robustly determine the sex of the individuals of interest.
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Antemortem dental records versus individual identification p. 158
Niveditha Thampan, R Janani, R Ramya, R Bharanidharan, A Ramesh Kumar, K Rajkumar
DOI:10.4103/jfo.jfds_13_18  
Background: Forensic odontology plays a pivotal role in the identification of victims in mass disasters utilizing “preserved dental records” or “ante-mortem records” available with the general dental practitioners. Identification of a deceased individual by comparing antemortem and postmortem records is more reliable and easier as compared to other methods. However, in India, the practice of maintaining dental case record requires additional emphasis. Aim: The aim of the present study is to assess the knowledge, attitude, and practices of dental practitioners in South India regarding awareness and importance of maintaining patient's dental records. Settings and Design: A descriptive questionnaire study was conducted among the alumni of the dental institution over a period of 3 months. The alumni who passed out from 2000 to 2015 were included in the study. Materials and Methods: A structured questionnaire containing 24 questions regarding the knowledge, attitude, and practice of maintaining clinical case records was prepared and validated. Data were collected from 543 dental practitioners from various parts of South India who were the alumni of the dental institution. Statistical Analysis: The data were summarized and analyzed using the statistical software Statistical Package for the Social Sciences. The descriptive analysis was done in percentages, and the results were tabulated. Results: Overall, 58.39% of dentists were found to be maintaining records promptly, and 84.6% dentists have knowledge about forensic odontology, but only 8.4% of dentists have helped the government agencies during mass disasters. Conclusion: This study reveals that the need of the hour is to change the attitude and to cultivate interest among practicing dentists regarding dental record maintenance which can tremendously help in the deceased individual identification process.
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CASE REPORT Top

Charred: Forensic dental identification and scanning electron microscope p. 164
Luiz Francesquini Júnior, Viviane Ulbricht, Adriano Luis Martins, Rhonan Ferreira Silva, João Sarmento Pereira Neto, Eduardo Daruge Júnior
DOI:10.4103/jfo.jfds_65_18  
The identification of bone and dental remains to establish identity, requested by police and judicial authorities, has increased annually because criminals have been using sophisticated methods that make this identification impractical. This study reports a murder case by charring, which creates dental and bone calcination. In 2013, a completely burned car was examined by forensic experts, containing charred, calcined human bones and teeth inside its trunk, thus an identity needed to be established. The scanning electron microscope (SEM) was used as a supporting method and indicated the presence of restorative materials, which were compatible and consistent with the chart and radiographic shots provided by the victim's dental surgeon. The SEM examination reinforced the positive identification of the alleged victim performed by comparative radiographic examinations (antemortem and postmortem) in the dental fragments found. It is a supporting method that, even though it does not establish the identity, it helps in the process of identification.
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