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Clinically Detectable Dental Identifiers Observed in Intra‐oral Photographs and Extra‐oral Radiographs, Validated for Human Identification Purposes

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Screening the prevalence and pattern of dental identifiers contributes toward the process of human identification. This research investigated the uniqueness of clinical dental identifiers in photographs and radiographs. Panoramic and lateral cephalometric radiographs and five intra‐oral photographs of 1727 subjects were used. In a target set, two observers examined different subjects. In a subset, both observers examined the same subjects (source set). The distance between source and target subjects was quantified for each identifier. The percentage of subjects in the target set being at least as close as the correct subject was assessed. The number of molars (34.6%), missing teeth (42%), and displaced teeth (59.9%) were the most unique identifiers in photographs and panoramic and lateral cephalometric radiographs, respectively. The pattern of rotated teeth (14.9%) was the most unique in photographs, while displaced teeth was in panoramic (37.6%) and lateral cephalometric (54.8%) radiographs. Morphological identifiers were the most unique, highlighting their importance for human identifications.
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Keywords: forensic dentistry; forensic science; human identification; identifiers; morphology; uniqueness

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2017

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