[Role of radiology in forensic dentistry].

Departamento de Química Fundamental do Instituto de Química da Universidade de São Paulo.
Pesquisa Odontológica Brasileira 09/2001; 15(3):263-8.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT There are various methods for the identification of human remains; most of them are based on comparisons between available ante- and post-mortem data. Although fingerprinting is the most accurate and precise method, in many cases, such as in mutilated, decomposed, burned or fragmented bodies, it cannot be used, and the dental methods become of the utmost importance, since teeth and dental restorations are very resistant to destruction by fire--they keep numerous characteristics, which are quite unique, and offer the possibility of accurate and legally acceptable identification of remains. This brief review describes the progress of forensic dentistry during the last 25 years, regarding the procedures and techniques that use ante-mortem and post-mortem radiographs. Among the discussed progresses one can point out: a specially designed self-supporting film holder that retains intra-oral films in the mouths of deceased persons whose mandibular musculature has been fixed in rigor mortis; positioning devices suitable for reproducing the geometry of ante-mortem radiographic images; methods involving digital radiographs, which can be easily stored in a central archive, retrieved and transmitted, via modem, to mass casualty sites; age estimation procedures; identification of edentulous individuals comparing radiographs of the maxilla; and studies of validation of dental radiographs taken with ante-mortem and post-mortem intervals of up to 30 years.

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