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Effectiveness of Comparison Overlays Generated with DentalPrint© Software in Bite Mark Analysis

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Validation studies of the new DentalPrint© software were carried out with experimental bite marks in pigskin. The bite marks were digitally photographed according to the ABFO guidelines for evidence collection. Dental casts used in the experiment were scanned in 3D and 2D, and comparison overlays were generated using DentalPrint© and Adobe® Photoshop® software, respectively. Digitized photographs of the experimental bite marks and the biting edges obtained in the overlays were compared by two different examiners to analyze the impact of training and experience with the two methods. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis, sensitivity, specificity, and 95% confidence intervals for each cutoff point were calculated. The expert examiner using DentalPrint© obtained the best results, with an area under the ROC curve of 0.76 (SE=0.057; CI at 95%=0.652–0.876). Fairly high specificity values were found for DentalPrint©, and the best results were obtained for the cutoff value that discriminated between the examiner's response “biter” and the rest of the possible (specificity 97.9%, CI at 95%=93.2%–99.6%). Therefore, the results presented here indicate that DentalPrint© is a useful, accurate tool for forensic purposes, although further research on the comparison process is needed to enhance the validity of bite mark analysis.
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Keywords: 3D images; DentalPrint©; accuracy; bite marks; effectiveness; forensic odontology; forensic science

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Forensic Medicine and Forensic Odontology, School of Medicine University of Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain. 2: Department of Software Engineering, University of Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain. 3: Department of Biostatistics, University of Granada, 18071 Granada, Spain.

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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