Journal of Forensic Dental Sciences
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Study of lip prints
TR Saraswathi, Gauri Mishra, K Ranganathan
January-June 2009, 1(1):28-31
The external surface of lips has many elevations and depressions forming a characteristic pattern called lip prints, examination of which is known as cheiloscopy. The lip prints are unique and distinguishable for every individual like fingerprints. The use of lip prints for human identification was first suggested in 1950 and researches were carried out in 1960s and early 1970s, resuming in the last few years. The present study was aimed to study the lip prints of different individuals in different parts of the lip and find out the incidence of any particular pattern in the given age group. Although lip prints identification has been utilized in the court in isolated cases, more researches need to be conducted in this field with regards to confirmation of uniqueness, and the collection and interpretation of evidence.
  19,745 2,308 10
Cheiloscopy: The study of lip prints in sex identification
Preeti Sharma, Susmita Saxena, Vanita Rathod
January-June 2009, 1(1):24-27
Human identification is a universal process based on scientific principles, mainly involving finger printing. Theory of uniqueness is a strong point used in the analysis of fingerprints to convince the court of law. Likewise, even the lip print is unique of an individual and hence beholds the potential for identification purpose. Thus, lip prints can be used to verify the presence or absence of a person at the scene of crime. The wrinkles and grooves on labial mucosa called as sulci labiorum form a characteristic pattern called 'lip prints' and the study of which is referred to as chieloscopy. The study group comprised of 20 females and 20 males. The materials used were lipstick, bond paper, cellophane tape, a brush for applying the lipstick, and a magnifying lens. This study shows that lip prints are unique to an individual and behold the potential for recognition of the sex of an individual.
  15,216 2,162 4
Limitations in forensic odontology
B Kavitha, A Einstein, B Sivapathasundharam, TR Saraswathi
January-June 2009, 1(1):8-10
The concept of using dental evidence in forensic investigation has kindled so much interest in the recent past that forensic odontology is even suggested as the single positive identification method to solve certain forensic cases. In this process, the shortcomings in forensic odontology though few are overlooked. These discrepancies associated with various methods are to be weighed cautiously to make forensic odontology a more accurate, reliable, and reproducible investigatory science. In this paper, we present our understanding of the limitations in various methods employed in forensic odontology.
  10,565 2,376 1
Experimental studies of forensic odontology to aid in the identification process
Susmita Saxena, Preeti Sharma, Nitin Gupta
July-December 2010, 2(2):69-76
DOI:10.4103/0975-1475.81285  PMID:21731343
The importance of dental identification is on the increase year after year. With the passage of time, the role of forensic odontology has increased as very often teeth and dental restorations are the only means of identification. Forensic odontology has played a key role in identification of persons in mass disasters (aviation, earthquakes, Tsunamis), in crime investigations, in ethnic studies, and in identification of decomposed and disfigured bodies like that of drowned persons, fire victims, and victims of motor vehicle accidents. The various methods employed in forensic odontology include tooth prints, radiographs, photographic study, rugoscopy, cheiloscopy and molecular methods. Investigative methods applied in forensic odontology are reasonably reliable, yet the shortcomings must be accounted for to make it a more meaningful and relevant procedure. This paper gives an overview of the various experimental studies to aid in the identification processes, discussing their feasibilities and limitations in day-to-day practice.
  10,812 1,505 3
Importance of palatal rugae in individual identification
Shriram C Bansode, Meena M Kulkarni
July-December 2009, 1(2):77-81
Background: Rugae are anatomical folds or wrinkles, the irregular fibrous connective tissue located on the anterior third of the palate, behind the incisive papilla. They are also called 'plica palatine.' These rugae patterns are studied for various purposes, mainly in the fields of anthropology, genetics, orthodontics, prosthodontics, and forensic science. Objective: To determine the stability of the palatal rugae during fixed orthodontic treatment and to verify the accuracy rate of identification by comparing the rugae patterns on preoperative and postoperative orthodontic casts. Materials and Methods: Thirty preoperative and postoperative dental casts were selected. Thirty casts were randomly selected for the present study. The postoperative and the randomly selected casts were trimmed so that all areas except the rugae area of the hard palate were removed. The 30 postoperative casts were mixed with the 30 randomly selected casts. Thirteen examiners were selected as evaluators. They were instructed to match the 30 preoperative dental casts with the 60 dental casts (30 postoperative and 30 randomly selected casts). The case numbers of those that were correctly matched were noted. Results: During fixed orthodontic treatment, dental changes and sometimes bony changes occurred, but no changes occurred in the rugae pattern. The 13 examiners achieved 90% correct matches, which is the median in the present study. We used kappa statistics to assess the agreement between evaluators for matching preoperative with postoperative casts. Conclusion: Palatal rugae patterns are unique to an individual, and can therefore be used for individual identification in forensic odontology.
  9,110 1,650 6
Professional negligence in dental practice: Potential for civil and criminal liability in India
Ashith B Acharya, JK Savitha, Suresh V Nadagoudar
January-June 2009, 1(1):2-7
The doctor/dentist-patient relationship has transformed over the last two decades. Health professionals are increasingly viewed as providers of service for consideration. The Consumer Protection Act (CPA) was enacted in 1986 for better protection of the interests of consumers as well as to provide a simple and quick mechanism for redressing consumer grievances. Since 1995, health professionals have been included within the ambit of the CPA, empowering the patient to file lawsuits (in case of perceived negligence) in consumer courts. This review explores the definitions of 'consumer', 'services', and 'negligence', discussing their implications with respect to civil and criminal liability of dentists, while providing relevant case examples and court guidelines in landmark judgments. It is concluded that the potential for civil lawsuits against dentists for negligent actions is existent, although the prospect of a dentist being held liable for criminal negligence is low.
  8,566 1,146 -
Practical aspects of DNA-based forensic studies in dentistry
J Muruganandhan, G Sivakumar
January-June 2011, 3(1):38-45
DOI:10.4103/0975-1475.85295  PMID:22022138
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.
  8,642 775 2
Cheiloscopy for sex determination
Shailesh M Gondivkar, Atul Indurkar, Shirish Degwekar, Rahul Bhowate
July-December 2009, 1(2):56-60
Background: Identification of an individual is a pre-requisite for certification of death and for personal, social and legal reasons. The study of lip-prints (cheiloscopy) was thought of as a method of identification of a person. It is safe to assume that cheiloscopy, in its present stage of development, has become a means of criminalistic identification dealing with lip-prints. Objective: The objective of the study was to check for any peculiar lip patterns in relation to the sex of the individual and determine the most common lip patterns in the Indian population. Materials and Methods: This study was conducted on 140 subjects, which included 70 males and 70 females, in the age group of 0-70 years. After applying lip stick evenly, the lip-print of each subject was obtained on a simple bond paper by researcher number 1. The lip-print was then analyzed and interpreted by researcher number 2 to determine the sex of individuals. Results: We found that 67 of the actual 70 lip-prints of females were correctly identified and 65 of the 70 males were correctly diagnosed as males. Type C (47.14%) was the most commonly occurring trend in females whereas Type B (70%) was the most commonly occurring trend in males. Conclusion: Along with other traditional methods, cheiloscopy can also serve as very important tool in the identification of a person based on the characteristic arrangement of lines appearing on the red part of the lips.
  7,359 1,599 9
Age estimation using pulp/tooth area ratio: A digital image analysis
Sasidhar Singaraju, P Sharada
January-June 2009, 1(1):37-41
Age is one of the essential factors in establishing the identity of the person. Estimation of the human age is a procedure adopted by anthropologists, archeologists, and forensic scientists. Inspection of radiographs and subsequent comparison with radiographic images, in charts yield 'maturity scores' that help us to assess the age of an individual. Alternative approaches based on digitalization of panoramic radiographs and their computerized storage have recently become available that exploit image analysis to obtain nondestructive metric measurements of both pulp chambers and teeth, which can be used to assess the age of an individual. The purpose of the present study was to present a method for assessing the chronological age based on the relationship between age and measurement of the pulp/tooth area ratio on single-rooted teeth, using orthopantomographs and a computer-aided drafting program AutoCAD 2000.
  6,836 1,977 5
Neonatal line as a linear evidence of live birth: Estimation of postnatal survival of a new born from primary tooth germs
Mahija Janardhanan, B Umadethan, KR Biniraj, RB Vinod Kumar, S Rakesh
January-June 2011, 3(1):8-13
DOI:10.4103/0975-1475.85284  PMID:22022132
Background: The presence of neonatal line indicates live birth and it is possible to estimate the exact period of survival of the infant in days by measuring the amount of postnatal hard tissue formation, and thus can be an evidence to the brutal act of infanticide. Materials and Methods: Primary tooth germs of both the arches were removed from the sockets of an infant who died few days after birth. Ground sections were made with hard tissue microtome. Decalcified sections were made from the crown of primary right mandibular canine and the sections were stained with hematoxylin and eosin. To visualize the neonatal line, the sections were subjected to light mocroscopy, polarized microscopy and scanning electron microscopy. A developing permanent molar from a one and a half year old boy and ten fully developed deciduous molars were used as controls. Results: The ground sections of all the developing tooth germs showed the presence of neonatal line and the analysis of enamel showed six distinct cross striations along the enamel rod length indicating the period of survival of the baby to be six days which was later confirmed with the hospital records. Conclusion: Neonatal line could be used as an evidence of infanticide. Accurate detection of neonatal line with advanced techniques could rewrite this supplementary evidence of infanticide into substantial evidence.
  7,849 453 3
A comparative analysis of root dentin transparency with known age
Anita Singhal, V Ramesh, PD Balamurali
January-June 2010, 2(1):18-21
DOI:10.4103/0974-2948.71052  PMID:21189985
Objective: To correlate dimensions of root transparency and age, and to assess whether transparency is reliable for age estimation of unknown. Materials and Methods: 50 freshly extracted single rooted permanent teeth from 50 different individuals (27 males and 23 females) were collected and their ground sections of 400 ΅m were stained with 1% methylene blue. The area of the translucent zone was measured by superimposing a transparent graph paper on the ground section under stereomicroscope. The length of the translucency was measured by using digital vernier caliper. Results: A strong positive correlation between age and translucency of dentin was noted. The length rather than the area of the translucent zone correlated more with age. Conclusion: Translucency of the root dentin increases with age and it can be used as a reliable parameter for the age estimation.
  7,181 620 3
Estimation of age based on tooth cementum annulations using three different microscopic methods
Siddharth Pundir, Susmita Saxena, Pooja Aggrawal
July-December 2009, 1(2):82-87
Background: The hard tissues of human dentition are able to resist decay and degradation long after other tissues are lost. This resistance to decay has made teeth useful for calculation of age at death of an individual. Recent research indicates that tooth cementum annulations (TCA) may be used more reliably than other morphological or histological traits of the adult skeleton for estimation of age. Objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine the correlation between age and the number of incremental lines in human dental cementum and to ascertain which, among three different forms of microscopy (light, polarized, phase-contrast) was the most reliable method of studying cementum. Materials and Methods: The study sample consisted of 40 teeth that had been extracted from patients ranging in age from 20−70 years. Longitudinal ground sections of each tooth were prepared and examined under light microscopy, polarized microscopy, and phase-contrast microscopy. The images were magnified on a computer and the cemental lines were counted with the help of Image Analysis Pro 6.0 software. Only the dark lines were counted. Results: There was a strong positive correlation between the estimated age and calculated age when phase-contrast microscopy was used; the correlation was less for light and polarized microscopy. Our results suggest that there is no significant influence of sex, age, periodontal disease, or tooth type on age estimation by the TCA method. This suggests that the accuracy and repeatability of the method is not dependent on tooth type or location and that this method can be applied to the general population regardless of systemic or periodontal health. Conclusion: With this study we conclude that among the methods of counting incremental lines by various types of microscopy phase-contrast microscopy improves the accuracy of age estimation and may serve as a valuable aid in forensic identification.
  6,523 1,204 2
Dimorphism in human maxillary and madibular canines in establishment of gender
Karen Boaz, Chhavi Gupta
January-June 2009, 1(1):42-44
Sexual dimorphism refers to the differences in size, shape, color, etc. between males and females and is a useful tool to distinguish them, especially in forensic investigations and anthropological assessments. The canines are favoured as ideal teeth to study these differences in view of their durability in the oral cavity. The present study was performed on 100 dental casts of a South Indian population in the age group of 14-20 years in an attempt to assess the dimorphism of human permanent maxillary and mandibular canines and to evaluate the possibility of dimorphism of the canines being used as a valid tool in the forensic and legal identification of an individual. The mesiodistal and buccolingual measurements were subjected to statistical analysis using the t test to determine whether significant differences exist between tooth sizes in males and females. The present study revealed that the mean values of the buccolingual and mesiodistal dimensions of the mandibular left canine (33) were greater in females than in males and the mean values of the mesiodistal dimensions of the mandibular right canine (43) in females were greater than that in males in the given sample. The finding could be attributable to evolution resulting in a reduction in sexual dimorphism, causing an overlap of tooth dimensions in modern males and females.
  6,318 1,112 3
Effect of acids on the teeth and its relevance in postmortem identification
Kiran Jadhav, Nidhi Gupta, BR Ahmed Mujib, Vikram S Amberkar
July-December 2009, 1(2):93-98
Background: The nature of crime is changing day by day and the forensic scientist is always facing new problems in the process of identification. For example, difficult though it may be to believe, criminals are now-a-days using acids to destroy bodies in order to avoid any personal identification. This is a matter of great interest to the forensic scientist. Is it possible to destroy the human body completely in an acid? If so, are there any means to identify the body? Objectives: The aim of this study was to identify the agent (acid) that is most likely to be used in such crimes and to find out if the morphological changes in the teeth could be used to deduce the approximate duration of time elapsed after immersion of a body in an acid. Since the natural teeth are most resistant to destruction they can persist for long after other skeletal structures have been destroyed by physical agents. The objective of study was to observe the morphological changes occurring in natural human teeth when they were kept immersed in an acid solution. Materials and Methods: Teeth were kept in 25 ml of aqueous solutions of three different acids and observed periodically for morphological changes. Results: The results showed that teeth could be completely dissolved in 37% hydrochloric acid (HCl) after 15 h of immersion, whereas in 65% nitric acid 20 h was required for complete dissolution. In the case of 96% sulphuric acid, the teeth reacted in a different manner. There was a residual precipitate observed at the bottom of the container after 144 h. It was possible to identify the characteristic morphological changes in the tooth until an advanced stage of degradation. Conclusion: Hydrochloric acid, nitric acid and sulfuric acid cause changes in the teeth and it is possible to deduce the approximate duration for which a body has been immersed in acid based on the charges observed.
  6,522 700 2
Survey of responsible handling of local anesthetic in Indian dental operatory
Thavarajah Rooban, Umadevi Krishnamohan Rao, Elizabeth Joshua, Kannan Ranganathan
July-December 2013, 5(2):138-145
Background: Dental operatory requires handling of numerous toxic fluids such as denture acrylic monomer, alcohol and formalin for effective oral care delivery. The efficacy and responsible handling of such fluids has not been analyzed among Indian dentists and this study aims to address this lacunae. Materials and Methods: Closed ended questionnaire was distributed through email to Indian dentists in July 2012. After inclusion/exclusion criteria, 1484 practitioners constituted the study group with a response rate of 52%. Statistics: SPSS ® Version 17.0 (SPSS-IBM Inc., IL, USA) was used to carry out statistical analysis. Descriptive statistics were presented. Chi square test was used to identify the association between the parameters; P ≤ 0.05 was considered as statistically significant. Results: Males (80.8%), undergraduates (78%), exclusive practitioners (81.2%), urban practitioners (68.5%) were the predominant respondents. Predominant of the respondents (97%) used local anesthetic (LA) from bottles. Eight percent have encountered instances of injecting formalin instead of LA in their settings. Safe disposal rules and regulations ( P ≤ 0.05), opinion on injecting the other fluids instead of LA as a severe negligent act ( P ≤ 0.05) were statistically significant between age groups. Educational status did not appear to influence the outcome. Only a third of the respondents were aware of the rules and regulations for safe disposal of empty LA bottles while 49.1% were not aware of them and willing to learn. Discussion: The lacunae in responsible handling of toxic fluids need to be addressed to prevent inadvertent and negligence suits against dentists, highlighting the need through continuing dental education programmes.
  6,958 250 -
Dental records: An overview
BK Charangowda
January-June 2010, 2(1):5-10
DOI:10.4103/0974-2948.71050  PMID:21189983
Dental records consist of documents related to the history of present illness, clinical examination, diagnosis, treatment done, and the prognosis. A thorough knowledge of dental records is essential for the practicing dentist, as it not only has a forensic application, but also a legal implication with respect to insurance and consumerism. This article reviews the importance of dental records in forensics.
  5,937 881 3
Bucco-lingual dimension of teeth - An aid in sex determination
RM Prathibha Rani, VG Mahima, Karthikeya Patil
July-December 2009, 1(2):88-92
Background: Bucco-lingual (B-L) dimensions of permanent teeth are known to exhibit sexual dimorphism. Objectives: Sexual dimorphism of B-L dimensions is known to be population specific. This study involves the measurement of B-L dimensions of all teeth except third molars of 99 native residents of Mysore district, Karnataka in the age group of 19-30 years. Materials and Methods: The B-L dimensional measurements of 28 teeth, except third molars, of 50 males and 49 females in the age group of 19 to 30 years were made on the study casts using vernier calipers with a resolution of 0.02 mm. The distance between the highest points on the buccal / labial and lingual / palatal surfaces were measured and analyzed using discriminant function analysis. Results: Males showed greater B-L dimensions of teeth in comparison to females with eight maxillary teeth exhibiting statistically significant dimorphism. However, discriminant function analysis showed an overall accuracy of classification of sex of 78%, among which 11 showed maximum dimorphism with a classification accuracy of 70.7% whereas both 23 and 26 showed an accuracy of 66.7%. Conclusion: Application of B-L dimensional variability among males and females in the population of Mysore can aid in sex determination in forensic scenario as the results of this study showed moderate magnitude of dimorphism in maxillary teeth with an accuracy rate of 78%. However, it is recommended to take this odontometric trait into consideration in combination with other skeletal and/or dental traits for sex determination.
  5,609 1,147 3
Comparison of cephalometric norms of caucasians and non-caucasians: A forensic aid in ethnic determination
L Kavitha, K Karthik
January-June 2012, 4(1):53-55
  6,168 462 -
Palatal rugoscopy: Establishing identity
Aparna Paliwal, Sangeeta Wanjari, Rajkumar Parwani
January-June 2010, 2(1):27-31
DOI:10.4103/0974-2948.71054  PMID:21189987
Palatal rugae are irregular, asymmetric ridges of the mucous membrane extending laterally from the incisive papilla and the anterior part of the palatal raphe. The uniqueness and the overall stability of palatal rugae suggest their use for forensic identification. Objective: The purpose of this study was to compare the palatal rugae patterns in 2 different populations in India (Madhya Pradesh and Kerala), and furthermore, to assess the predominant pattern if any in the selected groups. Materials and Methods: 60 maxillary study models (30 from each group) were examined in the age group ranging from 17 to 23 years. Palatal rugae pattern were examined in both the sexes on right and left sides of the palate for the total number (quantitative), length, shape, and predominant direction (qualitative). Results: After analyzing the rugae patterns in both the groups and between the 2 sides of the palate, the wavy pattern was found to be predominant followed by curved, straight, unification, circular, and nonspecific in decreasing order in the overall population. Conclusion: Straight rugae pattern on the right side of the palate in the male subjects was found to be significantly predominant in the MP population, whereas wavy shape was predominant in Keralites; however, rugae patterns on the right side of the palate in female subjects exhibited no significant difference.
  5,171 1,044 7
Bitemark analysis: Use of polyether in evidence collection, conservation, and comparison
Gabriel M Fonseca, Martin A Farah, Sabrina V Orellano-Blaskovich
July-December 2009, 1(2):66-72
Background: While bitemarks are categorical identification evidence, the dynamics of biting, the anatomical location of the bite, and failures in wound records can introduce distorted images and mislead crime investigation. Materials and Methods: In this study, 20 bitemarks were performed on dead pig skin and subsequently photographed, excised, conserved, and analyzed using digital comparison (Adobe Photoshop™ 8.0), following the standard procedures (ABFO); physical comparison was also done using polyether (Impregum™; 3M) casts. Study plaster casts of the upper and lower jaws of each subject were taken using type IV yellow densite stone. Polyether was used as impression material to obtain bitemarks, and casts were made from densite stone and polyether. Results: Because of its elasticity, polyether casts can compensate for primary or secondary distortions, so that there is a better degree of match when positioning the subject's dental cast. Conclusion: Polyether is an alternative impression material and is an excellent option for creating positive casts of the wound for physical dynamic comparison.
  5,338 827 -
Cementum annulations and age determination
Avadhoot Avadhani, JV Tupkari, Alefiya Khambaty, Manisha Sardar
July-December 2009, 1(2):73-76
Background: Cementum is a hard tissue in the root, which is deposited around dentin in layers throughout life. Under the light microscope, root cementum is seen as alternate light and dark rings known as incremental lines of cementum. In paleontology and forensic medicine, the number of these incremental lines is used to derive the age at death of an individual. Objectives: The present study was undertaken to determine if any relation exists between incremental lines of cementum and age of the individual. Materials and Methods: Twenty-five teeth from patients of known ages and devoid of any pathology such as attrition or hypercementosis were selected for this study. Ground sections were prepared manually. Nineteen of them showed visible countable annulations, while six showed indistinct, invisible annulations and hence were excluded from the study. Half of the selected teeth were sectioned longitudinally and the remainder were cross-sectioned. The mid-root region was selected for counting the annulations. Cemental annulations were counted after taking a photograph and enlarging the mid-root area. Age was then determined by adding the eruption age of the tooth to the annulations counted. Results and Conclusions: It was observed that cemental annulations, when appreciated, can be used as a reliable guide to determine the age of the patient. The age thus determined varied by about 2−3 years from the actual age of the patient. The reliability of the method was found to be 94.73%. There was good interobserver agreement in counting annulations.
  5,212 852 3
Mandibular ramus: An indicator for sex determination - A digital radiographic study
Annamalai Ponnuswamy Indira, Archana Markande, Maria P David
July-December 2012, 4(2):58-62
DOI:10.4103/0975-1475.109885  PMID:23741142
Background: The identification of skeletal remains is of paramount importance in medico-legal investigations. The skeletal components most often investigated for gender determination are the pelvis and skull, with the mandible being a practical element to analyze sexual dimorphism in the fragmented bones. Presence of a dense layer of compact bone makes it very durable and well preserved than many other bones. Mandibular ramus can be used to differentiate between sexes and it also expresses strong univariate sexual dimorphism. When skeleton sex determination is considered, metric analyses on the radiographs are often found to be of superior value owing to their objectivity, accuracy, and reproducibility. Aims and Objectives: (1) To measure, compare, and evaluate the various measurements of mandibular ramus as observed on orthopantomographs. (2) To assess the usefulness of mandibular ramus as an aid in sex determination. Materials and Methods: A retrospective study was conducted using orthopantomographs of 50 males and 50 females, which were taken using Kodak 8000C Digital Panoramic and Cephalometric System (73 kVp, 12 mA, 13.9 s). Mandibular ramus measurements were carried out using Master View 3.0 software. The measurements of the mandibular ramus were subjected to discriminant function analysis. Results: We observed each variable of the mandibular ramus to be a significant predictor in classifying a given sample (P < 0.001). Conclusion: This study on mandibular ramus measurements using orthopantomograph shows strong evidence suggesting that the ramus can be used for gender determination for forensic analysis.
  5,034 998 3
Palatal rugae patterns for establishing individuality
AP Indira, Manish Gupta, Maria Priscilla David
January-June 2012, 4(1):2-5
DOI:10.4103/0975-1475.99149  PMID:23087574
Introduction: Palatal rugoscopy is the name given to the study of palatal rugae. Rugae pattern are widely considered to remain unchanged during an individual's lifetime. The rugae pattern has the potential to remain intact by virtue of their internal position in the head when most other anatomical structures are destroyed or burned. Moreover, rugae pattern are considered to be unique similar to fingerprints and are advocated in personal identification. Objectives: The purpose of the study is to establish, individual identity using palatal rugae patterns. Materials and Methods: The study group consisted of 100 study models all of whom were subjects above 14 years old. Martin dos Santos' classification was followed based on form and position to assess the individuality of rugae pattern. Results: Each individual had different rugae patterns including dizygous twins and the rugae patterns were not symmetrical, both in number and in its distribution. Conclusion: The preliminary study undertaken here shows no two palates are alike in terms of their rugae pattern. Palatal rugae possess unique characteristics as they are absolutely individualistic and therefore, can be used as a personal soft-tissue 'oral' print for identification in forensic cases.
  4,835 1,083 1
Histological assessment of cellular changes in gingival epithelium in ante-mortem and post-mortem specimens
GL Pradeep, K Uma, P Sharada, Nilima Prakash
July-December 2009, 1(2):61-65
Background: Death is an irreversible cessation of circulation, respiration and cerebral function. A number of continuous changes occur in the period after death, and these vary according to the duration of time interval and circumstances of death. Since the rate of post-mortem changes varies between different individuals and there exists a range of normal values during life, extrapolation of the time since death will always reveal an interval, not an exact time point at which death occurred. Objectives: This study was conducted to demonstrate the features of decomposition at the cellular level in post-mortem gingival tissues at different time intervals after death and observe the cellular changes in the unfixed ante-mortem gingival tissue at regular time intervals. Materials and Methods: Thirty post-mortem and 30 ante-mortem gingival samples were seen microscopically to observe the cytoplasmic and nuclear degenerative changes. The proportion of cells exhibiting nuclear and cytoplasmic alterations in post-mortem gingival samples, during different time intervals, were compared using Chi square test. Results and Conclusion: There was a significant association between the time intervals and degenerative changes. The initiation of the decomposition process at the cellular level begins within 10 hours after death and the other clinical features of decomposition occur subsequently.
  5,111 605 1
Dental DNA fingerprinting in identification of human remains
KL Girish, Farzan S Rahman, Shoaib R Tippu
July-December 2010, 2(2):63-68
DOI:10.4103/0975-1475.81284  PMID:21731342
The recent advances in molecular biology have revolutionized all aspects of dentistry. DNA, the language of life yields information beyond our imagination, both in health or disease. DNA fingerprinting is a tool used to unravel all the mysteries associated with the oral cavity and its manifestations during diseased conditions. It is being increasingly used in analyzing various scenarios related to forensic science. The technical advances in molecular biology have propelled the analysis of the DNA into routine usage in crime laboratories for rapid and early diagnosis. DNA is an excellent means for identification of unidentified human remains. As dental pulp is surrounded by dentin and enamel, which forms dental armor, it offers the best source of DNA for reliable genetic type in forensic science. This paper summarizes the recent literature on use of this technique in identification of unidentified human remains.
  4,833 762 4