Journal of Forensic Dental Sciences
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   Table of Contents - Current issue
Coverpage
January-April 2019
Volume 11 | Issue 1
Page Nos. 1-55

Online since Wednesday, October 16, 2019

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REVIEW ARTICLES  

Saliva as a forensic tool p. 1
Shailja Chatterjee
DOI:10.4103/jfo.jfds_69_18  PMID:31680748
Forensic science is a branch that deals with a wide plethora of areas such as anthropology, migration studies and criminology. Various biological samples have been utilized to assist a scientist towards getting answers to the myriad of questions in the field. Saliva is an easily available source from victim as well as aggressors, parent-child and siblings. Various tests have been devised to aid in identifying salivary sample constituents. This paper deals with the wide utility of saliva as a forensic tool.
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Digitization in forensic odontology: A paradigm shift in forensic investigations p. 5
Ravleen Nagi, Konidena Aravinda, N Rakesh, Supreet Jain, Navneet Kaur, Amrit Kaur Mann
DOI:10.4103/jfo.jfds_55_19  PMID:31680749
Forensic dentistry deals with proper handling, examination, and evaluation of dental records, which are then presented in the interest of law for justice. It plays a major role in identification of deceased individuals who cannot be identified visually or by other means after mass disasters or crimes. Digital forensics has revolutionized the traditional forensic investigations in terms of acquisition, analysis, and reporting of forensic evidence and its application is becoming common in the mass disasters, earthquakes, and terrorism. Sophistication of software and advent of digital technologies such as computers, computer-aided design computer-aided manufacturing systems, digital records, facial reconstruction, touch-free autopsy, and virtopsy has resulted in quick identification and extraction of a large amount of data with reduced sampling bias. This paper focuses on the evolution of forensic dentistry for effective detection and resolution of medico-legal matters and also highlights the use of comparison microscopes and new robotic tools by few forensic laboratories for automation of deoxyribonucleic acid sampling processes for human identification.
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ORIGINAL ARTICLES Top

Ascertaining of age by Raman spectroscopic analysis of apical dentin – A forensic study p. 11
Sadaksharam Jayachandran, Prakasarao Aruna, Manoharan Preethi, M Yuvaraj
DOI:10.4103/jfo.jfds_85_18  PMID:31680750
Context: Age estimation in forensics employ various methods of which Raman microspectroscopy provides a noninvasive method by assessing various parts of dentin. Aim and Objectives: The aim of this study is to ascertain the age of carious tooth using Raman spectra of apical dentin and to correlate the similarity of the spectra in a defined age group. Settings and Design: Teeth of known age from Indian population (n=48) and morphology (incisors, canine, premolars, molars) indicated for extraction due to caries were allocated into four groups, i.e., Group A (21-30 years), Group B (31-40 years), Group C (41-50 years) and Group D (51-60 years). Materials and Methods: Teeth were sectioned and the apical 2 mm of dentin was examined by a Raman microspectroscopy machine for spectra from 400 cm−1 to 1500 cm−1, and peak at phosphate group at 963 cm−1 was taken for statistical analysis. Statistical Analysis Used: The data were analyzed using IBM SPSS version 20.0. Results: Pearson's correlation to test the strength of linear relation of the spectra of the teeth within an age group showed an “r” value approaching 1. One-way ANOVA to test the difference between means of spectrum values obtained between the four age groups was statistically significant at P < 0.05. Conclusion: Raman spectroscopic analysis of apical dentin of teeth affected by caries can also be used to estimate the age and the Raman spectra obtained differed for different age groups, and the same can be advocated as an alternative method to ascertain age in forensic dentistry.
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Dental age estimation using radiographic assessment of third molar eruption among 10–20-year-old Ugandan population p. 16
Annet Mutebi Kutesa, Charles Mugisha Rwenyonyi, Catherine Lutalo Mwesigwa, Mbabali Muhammad, Grace Ssanyu Nabaggala, Joan Kalyango
DOI:10.4103/jfo.jfds_34_19  PMID:31680751
Aim: This study aimed at establishing the age for third molar eruption among Ugandans aged 10–20 years. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study comprising 471 male and 541 female patients attending Mulago Dental Clinic. Patients' orthopantomographs were assessed for third molar eruption as described by Olze et al. Age was summarized using means/SD. Jaw and sex differences were assessed using Student's t-test. Results: Complete eruption (Stage D) ranged between 13 and 20 years. The mean age at complete eruption for girls and boys was 17.5–18 years and 18.2–18.6 years, respectively. Mean age was statistically significantly (P < 0.05) lower among girls compared to boys for all third molar teeth (#18, #28, #38, and #48). The difference in mean eruption times between girls and boys was −0.62 (95% confidence interval: 0.2–1.0, P = 0.006). At 18 years, 40% or 41% maxillary and 52% or 53% mandibular molars were completely erupted. There were statistically significant differences in eruption between the sexes and jaws for all teeth (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Given the fact that the percentage of erupted third molars by age 18 was found to be <50% on an average in this Ugandan population, we should reconsider the use of third molar eruption as a definitive tool for age estimation in this population.
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Socioeconomic and nutritional factors associated with age of eruption of third molar tooth among Ugandan adolescents p. 22
Annet Mutebi Kutesa, Barbara Ndagire, Grace Ssanyu Nabaggala, Catherine Lutalo Mwesigwa, Joan Kalyango, Charles Mugisha Rwenyonyi
DOI:10.4103/jfo.jfds_37_19  PMID:31680752
This study aimed to establish the influence of socioeconomic and nutritional factors on the age of eruption of the mandibular third molar among Ugandans aged 10–20 years. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional study carried out in a dental clinic of Mulago Hospital between January and December 2017. The background information was obtained from the participants using a questionnaire in the form of an oral interview. The anthropometric measurements were obtained using a tape measure and a weighing scale, while dental radiographs were used to determine the eruption stages of the mandibular third molar. Statistical Analysis: The data were analyzed using STATA 13 and summarized using descriptive statistics and multivariate analyses. Statistical significance was inferred at P < 0.05. Results: Participants in the overweight body mass index category were statistically significantly associated with the age of the mandibular third molar eruption (P < 0.05) compared to their normal counterparts. There was no statistically significant association between socioeconomic status and age of eruption of third molar teeth (P > 0.05). Age of eruption was statistically significantly higher among males than females (P > 0.05). Conclusion: The findings of the present study reveal that overweight influences early eruption of the mandibular third molar tooth, although there is no trend between socioeconomic status and the age of eruption of the mandibular third molar.
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Baseline data of facial parameters in the population of Haryana: An anthropometric study p. 28
Shruti Gupta, Anjali Narwal, Mala Kamboj, Pooja Sharma, Vanshika Makkar, Rahul Kr Raman
DOI:10.4103/jfo.jfds_12_19  PMID:31680753
Context: Anthropometry plays an important role in the assessment of ethnicity and identification of an individual. There is paucity of literature on various facial parameters in Haryanvi population. Thus, the present study was an initiation to collect this database in Haryanvi population. Aim: The aim of the present study was to create a database of craniofacial parameters of Haryanvi population. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted on 300 individuals of Haryanvi ethnicity. A digital vernier caliper was used for the measurement of facial parameters. Statistical Analysis: Chi-square test, t-test, and Pearson's correlation test were used for finding the difference between the measurements for various parameters. Results: In the present study, mesoprosopic was the predominant facial phenotype in both males and females. A significant sexual dimorphism was found between all the facial parameters measured in the study. However, upper facial height and facial index did not follow the same pattern in relation to gender determination. Conclusion: Based on the present study findings, we conclude that craniofacial parameters could be used as an important tool to assess the ethnicity and gender of an individual. In addition, our data could be used as a baseline for further studies in the identification of a Haryanvi individual.
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Awareness of forensic odontology among undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate dental students in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: A knowledge-, attitude-, and practice-based study p. 35
Nishath Sayed Abdul, Lamya Alhazani, Reem Alruwail, Shrouq Aldres, Shahd Asil
DOI:10.4103/jfo.jfds_52_19  PMID:31680754
Aims and Objectives: The aim of the study is to assess the knowledge, attitude, and practice (KAP) of forensic odontology among undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate dental students at Riyadh Elm University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Material and Methods: This is a cross-sectional, institution-based survey study conducted among 400 dental students, which included 220 undergraduates, eighty interns, sixty graduates, and forty postgraduates aged, between 18 and 28 years. A self-administered structured questionnaire written in English and Arabic language was given to all willing student participants. Questionnaire included KAP criteria based along with demographic data. Statistical data were analyzed using Chi-square test. Results: Seventy-five percent of postgraduates, 42% of graduates, and 40.9% of the undergraduates were aware that teeth serve as a source of DNA. Ninety-five percent of the participants were aware that forensic dentistry helps to investigate criminals and dead persons. About 72% of the undergraduates and 77.5% of postgraduates were aware that forensic odontology helps in identification of deceased person's age and gender in mass disasters using dental records. About 62.73% of the undergraduates were unaware of the job opportunities in forensic dentistry in Saudi Arabia and 97.5% of the participants revealed that forensic dentistry was not included as part of the curriculum in undergraduate and postgraduate dental courses. About 93.2% of the undergraduate and 83.4% of graduate dental students agreed that they lack knowledge about forensic dentistry. Conclusion: Our study revealed inadequate knowledge, poor attitude, and lack of practice of forensic odontology among undergraduate and graduate dental students than the postgraduates.
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Qualitative assessment of the dental groove pattern and its uniqueness for forensic identification p. 42
Jyotirmoy Roy, Muraleedharan M Rohith, Debesh Nilendu, Abraham Johnson
DOI:10.4103/jfo.jfds_73_19  PMID:31680755
Introduction: Teeth are invaluable in both the living and the deceased for forensic identification and profiling purposes. The occlusal surface patterns in the molars of an individual depend on both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. The individualistic nature of the groove pattern can be used to determine the identity of an individual by the process of comparative identification. Aim and Objective: The objective of this study is to determine the uniqueness of the groove pattern among individuals by the means of digital analysis. Materials and Methods: An experimental study was conducted on 80 dental casts where the occlusal groove patterns of 1st and 2nd molars from each cast were traced digitally using image analysis software GIMP (v 2.10.6). The traced patterns were then examined to determine their uniqueness. Results: The most common groove patterns for the maxillary 1st and 2nd molars were found to resemble “Branched H” and “H”, respectively. “Y” pattern was observed to be the most common in mandibular 1st molar, whereas mandibular 2nd molar most commonly exhibited “+” pattern. No two groove patterns were similar in the analysis. Conclusion: Digital method of analysis is preferable over conventional manual methods as it is noninvasive and precise. The individualistic nature of occlusal groove patterns may play an important role in comparative forensic identification.
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CASE REPORTS Top

Identification through dental age estimation in skeletal remains of a child p. 48
Neeta Sharma, Sangeet Dhillon
DOI:10.4103/jfo.jfds_79_18  PMID:31680756
The analysis of skeletal remains opens the portal of scientific truth that enables the justice system to discover the facts and circumstances surrounding criminal acts. There is definite role of forensic odontology in identification and determination of dental age of skeletal remains (mandible), especially when visual identification and fingerprints cannot be used. Here, we present a case of a missing boy whose skeletal remains were recovered from a water tank. Skeleton remains were brought by police personal with an alleged history that the remains belong to a child who has been missing since 2 years. The skeletal bones after anthropological study, forensic odontology findings and DNA profiling, were confirmed to be of the missing child's. A skeletonized body recovered from water is not capable of being identified by visual means, and hence, other examinations i.e., forensic odontology and DNA profiling, substantiate the case.
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Dental Cingulum and Position of Fixed Orthodontic Appliance as Source of Morphological and Therapeutic Identifiers: An Unusual Case Report p. 51
Fernando Fortes Picoli, Mayara Barbosa Viandelli Mundim-Picoli, Livia Graziele Rodrigues, Maria Alves Garcia Santos Silva, Ademir Franco, Rhonan Ferreira Silva
DOI:10.4103/jfo.jfds_28_19  PMID:31680757
Orthodontic records, such as photographs, radiographs, and dental casts, provide information useful for identification purposes because it may reveal important morphological, therapeutic, and pathological dental identifiers. Among these identifiers, the type and position of orthodontic appliances figure as distinctive tools for human identification. In this context, the present study aims to report an uncommon case of identification of a putrefied body, found near to a forest region in Brazil. The postmortem (PM) examination showed that the victim had part of a fixed orthodontic appliance installed in the maxillary and mandibular dental arches. To identify the body, relatives of the potential victim presented orthodontic examinations containing panoramic radiography and photographs of the orthodontic treatment. The body was identified based on the analysis of the radiographs and photographs that confirmed the presence of the orthodontic appliances observed PM. More specifically, the identification was supported by the analysis of bracket bonding position of the maxillary and mandibular incisors and the presence of distinctive morphological traits of the canines and incisors, as well dental roots observed radiographically. The present case highlights the importance of orthodontic records as a source of morphological dental identifiers for cases in which only unrestored teeth are available.
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