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A Retrospective Review of Forensic Odontology Reports Written by the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command Central Identification Laboratory for Remains Identified from the Korean War

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As of August 2014, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command has identified the remains of 1980 previously unknown U.S. service members; 280 were from the Korean War. To determine the accuracy and completeness of the available antemortem (AM) dental records, a review of the AM/postmortem (AM/PM) dental record comparisons from 233 Forensic Odontology Reports written in support of remains identified from the Korean War was performed. Seventy‐two AM/PM comparisons resulted in exact dental chartings while 161 contained discrepancies which were explainable. Explainable discrepancies include undocumented treatment (103), incorrectly charted third molars as missing (82), differing opinions of specific molars present/missing (20), and erroneous treatment documentation and/or misidentification of teeth present/missing (22, other than molars). Reassessment has revealed varying levels of completeness for our available AM dental records, the need to thoroughly review our computerized comparisons, adjust our comparisons to include molar pattern variations/third molars, and updating our database comparison program.
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Keywords: Army Graves Registration Service; Central Identification Laboratory; Centralized Accounting Recovery and Identification System; Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command; forensic odontology; forensic science

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2016

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