Endodontic imaging as an aid to forensic personal identification
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Identification by dental comparison between records of a missing person and the dentition of a deceased individual depends on recognition of concordant features common to both with no unexplained discrepancies. While written dental records are commonly used for this task, we believe they should not be the preferred basis of comparison because they do not derive directly from an individual and are potentially prone to errors, inaccuracies and misinterpretation. Images, however, are a direct representation of a physical item, and are an objective method of recording information. Radiographs are images that capture the unique morphological features of teeth, surrounding structures and physical detail of past dental treatment resulting in changes to a dentition. Taking post-mortem radiographs in such a way as to duplicate as closely as possible the conditions under which the ante-mortem radiographs were produced, permits demonstrably rigorous methods of comparison, raising the probative value of the outcome. In this context post-treatment endodontic radiographs present a particularly rich source of features on which individuation can be achieved, especially considering that alteration of endodontic restorations happens less frequently than is the case with intra-coronal restorations. We illustrate various techniques with a series of cases and discuss the parameters for success.
Australian Endodontic Journal
Copyright 2010 Australian Society of Endodontology. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. The definitive version is available at www.interscience.wiley.com
Dentistry not elsewhere classified