Journal of Forensic Dental Sciences
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   2013| July-December  | Volume 5 | Issue 2  
    Online since October 11, 2013

 
 
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REVIEW ARTICLE
Evaluation of spheno-occipital synchondrosis: A review of literature and considerations from forensic anthropologic point of view
Kewal Krishan, Tanuj Kanchan
July-December 2013, 5(2):72-76
DOI:10.4103/0975-1475.119764  PMID:24255553
Cranial sutures and synchondrosis have long been studied by forensic scientists, human anatomists, and anthropologists for estimation of age in different population groups. Observation of the closure of spheno-occipital synchondrosis has an important role to play in the estimation of age in the examination of unknown human remains when a skull is brought for examination. The present article reviews the studies conducted on the closure of spheno-occipital synchondrosis and presents a few valuable considerations that would be essential for carrying out research related to closure of spheno-occipital synchondrosis in humans.
  3 3,380 404
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Rugoscopy: Human identification by computer-assisted photographic superimposition technique
Rezwana Begum Mohammed, Rajendra G Patil, VR Pammi, M Pavana Sandya, Siva V Kalyan, A Anitha
July-December 2013, 5(2):90-95
DOI:10.4103/0975-1475.119771  PMID:24255556
Background: Human identification has been studied since fourteenth century and it has gradually advanced for forensic purposes. Traditional methods such as dental, fingerprint, and DNA comparisons are probably the most common techniques used in this context, allowing fast and secure identification processes. But, in circumstances where identification of an individual by fingerprint or dental record comparison is difficult, palatal rugae may be considered as an alternative source of material. Aim: The present study was done to evaluate the individualistic nature and use of palatal rugae patterns for personal identification and also to test the efficiency of computerized software for forensic identification by photographic superimposition of palatal photographs obtained from casts. Materials and Methods: Two sets of Alginate impressions were made from the upper arches of 100 individuals (50 males and 50 females) with one month interval in between and the casts were poured. All the teeth except the incisors were removed to ensure that only the palate could be used in identification process. In one set of the casts, the palatal rugae were highlighted with a graphite pencil. All the 200 casts were randomly numbered, and then, they were photographed with a 10.1 Mega Pixel Kodak digital camera using standardized method. Using computerized software, the digital photographs of the models without highlighting the palatal rugae were overlapped over the images (transparent) of the palatal rugae with highlighted palatal rugae, in order to identify the pairs by superimposition technique. Incisors were remained and used as landmarks to determine the magnification required to bring the two set of photographs to the same size, in order to make perfect superimposition of images. Results: The result of the overlapping of the digital photographs of highlighted palatal rugae over normal set of models without highlighted palatal rugae resulted in 100% positive identification. Conclusion: This study showed that utilization of palatal photographs is highly viable. The photographic superimposition technique using Adobe Photoshop 8.0 software (used in this study for comparison of palatal rugae) was proved effective for human identification and can be used when ante-mortem data regarding palatal rugae is provided. This study also concluded that palatal rugae are highly individualistic and play an important role as a complementary method in personal identification.
  2 5,862 621
Age estimation by using dental radiographs
Piyush G Limdiwala, JS Shah
July-December 2013, 5(2):118-122
DOI:10.4103/0975-1475.119778  PMID:24255560
Background: Estimation of age is important in forensic sciences as a way to establish the identity of human remains. Of the various parts of the body used in age estimation, teeth are the least affected by the taphonomic process. Their durability means that they are sometimes the only body part available for study. Several methods of age estimation have been studied using bone and teeth, and among them, tooth wear and apposition of secondary dentine are the currently available non-destructive methods. Objectives: The purpose of the study was to determine the age of adults by using Kvaal's method as well as to establish the relationship of chronological age and dental age with its reliability and limitations on digital panoramic radiographs. Materials and Methods: The present study was based on panoramic radiographs that consisted of two groups. One hundred orthopantomographs with Kvaal's criteria (Group A) and 50 orthopantomographs without Kvaal's criteria (Group B) were included. Various parameters were measured and the result was analyzed by means of SPSS-12.0 program statistical data. Result and Conclusion: On the basis of Kvaal's criteria, the difference between chronological age and real age was 8.3 years. This suggests that the accuracy of this method depends on the precision of measurements and quality and number of the orthopantomographs.
  2 4,692 1,119
Assessment of palatal rugae pattern and their reproducibility for application in forensic analysis
Divya Shetty, Achint Juneja, Anshi Jain, Kaveri Surya Khanna, Neha Pruthi, Amit Gupta, Meenakshi Chowdhary
July-December 2013, 5(2):106-109
DOI:10.4103/0975-1475.119775  PMID:24255558
Background: Rugae are the anatomical folds that are located on the anterior third of palate behind the incisive papillae. They are also known as "Plica palatine," and the study of these patterns is called palatoscopy. It can be used in various fields such as sex determination, orthodontics and forensic odontology. Objective: To investigate palatal rugae patterns in females and males and to evaluate the stability of these patterns in pre- and post-operative orthodontic cases. Materials and Methods: Fifty patients were selected for this study (25 males and 25 females). From the above sample, 10 males and 10 females had undergone orthodontic treatment and their casts were retrieved for sex determination analysis and stability of rugae patterns pre- and post-treatment. Results: Changes occur in bony structures during fixed orthodontic treatment but rugae patterns remain stable. Kappa stats and Chi square test were used to analyze agreement between the two evaluators, and 95% correct matches were achieved. Conclusion: Palatal rugae are unique to every individual and can be used as an indicator in forensic odontology.
  1 6,074 834
Reliability of panoramic radiography in chronological age estimation
Ramanpal Singh Makkad, Abhishek Balani, Shailendra Singh Chaturvedi, Tushar Tanwani, Anil Agrawal, Shaheen Hamdani
July-December 2013, 5(2):129-133
DOI:10.4103/0975-1475.119781  PMID:24255562
Introduction: There has been a strong relationship between the growth rate of bone and teeth, which can be utilized for the purpose of age identification of an individual. Aims and Objective: The present study was designed to determine the relationship between the dental age, the age from dental panoramic radiography, skeletal age, and chronological age. Materials and Methods: The study included 270 individuals, averaging between 17 years and 25 years of age from out-patient department of New Horizon Dental College and Hospital, Sakri, Bilaspur, Chhattisgarh, India, for third molar surgery. Panoramic and hand wrist radiographs were taken, the films were digitally processed for visualization of the wisdom teeth. The confirmations of ages were repeated again at an interval of 4 weeks by a radiologist. The extracted wisdom teeth were placed in 10% formalin and were examined by one dental surgeon to estimate the age on the basis of root formation. Student's t-test was adopted for statistical analysis and probability (P value) was calculated. Conclusion: Estimating the age of an individual was accurate by examining extracted third molar. Age estimation through panoramic radiography was highly accurate in upper right quadrant (mean = 0.72 and P = 0.077).
  1 2,641 521
Status of forensic odontology in metro and in tier 2 city in urban India
Parul Khare, Shaleen Chandra, Vineet Raj, Poonam Verma, G Subha, Abhishek Khare
July-December 2013, 5(2):134-137
DOI:10.4103/0975-1475.119783  PMID:24255563
Dentist can play a significant role in identifying the victims or perpetrators of crime as well as in disasters. Knowledge about the various aspects of forensic science as well as dental and related evidences can help a dental practitioner in assisting the civil agencies in such cases. Aim: To evaluate the awareness and knowledge of forensic odontology among dentists in a metropolitan and a tier 2 city. Materials and Methods: Seven hundred and seventy four dentists were included in this survey. Questionnaire was designed to assess the knowledge, aptitude, and status of practice of forensic odontology. Data was analyzed by comparing overall awareness of forensic odontology among dentists in metro and tier 2 city as well as between the different groups. Results: Apart from the source of knowledge, no significant differences were seen in respondents of metropolitan and tier 2 city. Significantly higher proportion of subjects in metro reported journals as source of knowledge (P < 0.001), whereas it was newspaper in tier 2 city (P = 0.001). On comparing the mean scores of knowledge (k), aptitude (a), and practice (p) among different study groups, it was found that all the three scores were highest for practitioner cum academician (PA) group (k - 2.37, a - 0.69, P - 0.17). Knowledge scores were minimum for pure practitioner (PP) group (1.98), and attitude and practice scores of pure academician (A) group were minimum (a - 0.53, P - 0.06). Conclusion: Respondents had low knowledge about the applications of forensic odontology in routine practice; hence, steps must be taken to educate the dental practitioners about its clinical applications.
  1 2,152 331
Comparison of palatal rugae patterns in Kodava and Malayalee populations of South India
Deeksha Kiran Shetty, Priyanka S Machale, Suyog Chandrashekar Savant, Syed Ahmed Taqi
July-December 2013, 5(2):85-89
DOI:10.4103/0975-1475.119768  PMID:24255555
Introduction: The palatal rugae pattern is unique to humans and may be specific to ethnic groups hence useful in population identification in forensic dentistry. The present study has been carried out to analyze the rugae pattern in two populations in and around Coorg, with objectives to analyze the palatal rugae pattern among Kodavas and Malayalees and to analyze the rugae pattern between sexes within each group. Materials and Methods: The sample comprised two population groups in Coorg namely Kodavas and Malayalees, ( n = 30) from each group, age-range of 18-30 years, equally distributed between the sexes. The rugae pattern were categorized as 'straight,' 'wavy,' 'curved' 'circular', and 'unification'. Pairwise comparison for two populations was done using non-parametric Mann-Whitney test. Mann-Whitney two-tailed test was used to test the difference between sexes. Results: Wavy pattern (100%) was highest among Kodavas. There was a significant difference between Malayalees and Kodavas for wavy (Mean = 5.867 and 8.400) and unification patterns (Mean = 2.267and 1.000). Significant difference between sexes for straight rugae pattern (Mean, males = 2.267, females = 1.200) among Malayalees was seen. Conclusion: The differences in rugae shape between the two populations (wavy and unification patterns) may be attributed to genetic factors and recent shared ancestry has probably rendered their differences to moderate levels.
  1 2,601 373
GUEST EDITORIAL
Forensic odontology - Teaching scenario in India
B Kavitha
July-December 2013, 5(2):71-71
DOI:10.4103/0975-1475.119763  PMID:24255552
  - 1,708 403
JOURNAL REVIEWS
Virtopsy (virtual autopsy): A new phase in forensic investigation
KB Tejaswi, E Aarte Hari Periya
July-December 2013, 5(2):146-148
PMID:24255565
  - 3,326 578
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
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
PMID:24255564
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.
  - 7,978 277
Lip prints: The barcode of skeletal malocclusion
Pradeep Raghav, Naveen Kumar, Shishir Shingh, NK Ahuja, Priyanka Ghalaut
July-December 2013, 5(2):110-117
DOI:10.4103/0975-1475.119777  PMID:24255559
Introduction: In orthodontics, apart from essential diagnostic aids, there are so many soft tissue analyses in which lips are major part of concern. However, lip prints have never been used in orthodontics as diagnostic aid or forensic tool. Therefore, this study was designed to explore the possible association of lip prints with skeletal malocclusion. Materials and Methods: A sample of 114 subjects in the age group of 18-30 years, from North Indian adult population were selected on the basis of skeletal class I, class II and class III malocclusion, each comprising of 38 subjects with equal number of males and females. Lip prints of all the individuals were recorded and digital soft copies of lateral cephalograms were taken. Lip prints were compared between different skeletal malocclusions. Results: It was found that branched lip pattern was most common in North Indian adult population with no sexual dimorphism. The Z-test for proportion showed that the prevalence of vertical lip pattern was significantly higher in subjects having skeletal class III malocclusion. Conclusion: A definite co-relation of vertical lip patterns with skeletal class III malocclusion was revealed.
  - 4,805 544
Gender determination using cheiloscopy
BN Padmavathi, Ramanpal Singh Makkad, SY Rajan, Gopi Krishna Kolli
July-December 2013, 5(2):123-128
DOI:10.4103/0975-1475.119780  PMID:24255561
Background: Although lip prints have been used as an evidence for human identification in forensic science, there exists a doubt about its role in gender determination. Aims: The present study was designed for documenting common patterns, as well as their variation in the study population, with objective of evaluating uniqueness of the lip print pattern among the study population, as well as to evaluate the possibility of gender determination. Study Design: Two hundred and thirty five lip prints were collected from volunteers among out patients of Darshan Dental College and Hospital, as well as community dental care camps of rural areas around Udaipur. Materials and Methods: Lip prints were recorded with transparent overlay and transferred on to a bond paper. It was then photographed using a Canon EOS 55OD 16 mega pixel digital camera. Software Picasa 3.6 and Microsoft Picture Manager were used to digitally enhance the quality and magnify the image bearing the groove pattern. Lip prints were later analyzed. Statistical Analysis: Pearson chi square test was adopted for statistical analysis and probability (P value) was calculated. Conclusion: In our study, none of the lip prints were identical, thus confirming the role of lip prints in individual identification. Dots, reticular and complex patterns were significant in gender determination.
  - 2,790 502
Digital method for lip print analysis: A New approach
Rachana V Prabhu, Ajit Dinkar, Vishnudas Prabhu
July-December 2013, 5(2):96-105
PMID:24255557
Aim: To evaluate the uniqueness and to define a standard method for the analysis of lip prints. Materials and Methods: Lip prints of 100 students were taken using Scotch tape without any distortion. These prints were then scanned for the digital analysis. Using Adobe Photoshop 7 software an attempt was made to trace each and every line using Suzuki and Tsuchihashi's classification. Weighted value scoring system was used to check for the uniqueness of the lip prints. Results: No two lip prints had exactly matching scores in all four Quadrants. No statistically significant difference was found in the change of pattern in lip print images collected after 12 months from the same individual. With digital analysis, up to 15 lines were traceable in 66%, 71%, 52% and 51% of Quadrant I, II, III and IV respectively. Conclusion: Lip prints are unique to an individual. The digital method of analyzing lip print images serves better visualization, ease in identification and recording of the lip print pattern. Weighted Value Scoring system can be considered as a standard method for determining the uniqueness of the lip prints.
  - 3,410 554
In vitro evaluation of a passive radio frequency identification microchip implanted in human molars subjected to compression forces, for forensic purposes of human identification
Freddy Moreno, Diego Vallejo, Herney Garzón, Sandra Moreno
July-December 2013, 5(2):77-84
DOI:10.4103/0975-1475.119766  PMID:24255554
Objective: To evaluate the in vitro behavior of a passive Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) microchip implanted in human molars subjected to compression forces to determine its technical and clinical viability. Materials and Methods: I n vitro experimental study to evaluate the physical behavior of a passive RFID microchip (VeriChip™) implanted in human molars through resin restoration (Filtek P90™ Silorane 3M-ESPE ® ) to determine the clinical and technical possibilities of the implant and the viability to withstand compression forces exerted by the stomatognathic system during mastication. Results: Through the ANOVA test, it was found that the teeth on which a microchip was implanted show great resistance to compressive forces. It was also evident that teeth with microchips implanted in Class V cavities are more resistant than those implanted in Class I cavities. Conclusions: Although microchip dimensions are big, requiring a sufficiently large cavity, from the biomechanical point of view it is plausible to implant a microchip in a Class V cavity employing restoration material based on resin for forensic purposes of human identification.
  - 4,438 333
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