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Antemortem Records of Forensic Significance Among Edentulous Individuals

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The identification of edentulous individuals is problematic due to poor provision of labelled dental prostheses. Dental records may still provide useful information for odontologists in the comparative identification process. The purpose of this study was to determine the level of forensically significant information contained within the dental records of a population of denture wearers attending the University of Manchester School of Dentistry. Two hundred and two dental records were examined and a proforma completed. The mean age of the patients was 72 years. Medical history were absent in 4% of all records and only 67.8% of the written records were rated as good. Thirty-two percent of the records contained one or more panoramic radiographs but 30% of these were over 3 years old rendering their usefulness in identification procedures questionable. In total only 18% of the examined records contained antemortem information that would enable identification. These data suggest that the process of denture marking is an essential in order to ensure that the identification of this population can be undertaken expediently by dental means.
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Keywords: denture labeling; denture marking; dentures; forensic science; identification; patient records

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: The School of Dentistry, The University of Manchester, Manchester, U.K.

Publication date: 2007-03-01

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