Current trends in the methods of identification in forensic dentistry: a review of literature


  • Ahmed A. Zahrani Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, College of Dentistry, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia



Forensic dentistry, Forensic odontology, Deceased identification, Criminal dental records, Medicolegal data


Dental evidence in forensic investigation has been in practice for many years. Forensic dentistry or forensic odontology predominantly involves the identification of human remains, by comparing the dental evidence of deceased persons recovered from the scene of an accident or a crime (post-mortem dental data) with the ante-mortem dental records. The use of dental identification lies in the fact that no two oral cavities are alike, and the teeth are unique for everyone. In addition, dental structures are not only the hardest and most protected structures in the body, but are also the most resistant to degradation due to environmental impact. Identification of a deceased individual using forensic odontology is possible with a higher degree certainty, as it is possible to apply multiple tools such as dental imaging, tongue print, lip print, rugoscopy, tooth signature, ameloglyphics, deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) analysis, bite-marks, dentures and prosthesis, facial reconstruction, virtopsy and software applications. Since the role of a forensic dentist extends even beyond identification, especially in the absence of ante-mortem dental records for comparison, teeth become a determinant factor in identification, and determination of age, gender and ethnicity. Although several methods and techniques of identification have been described in forensic dentistry, there is no comprehensive resource that describes them all in detail. Therefore, this review paper aims to analyze and discuss the available methods of identification in forensic dentistry, their merits and limitations, and how they might be of help to the forensic dentists and pathologists.


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How to Cite

A. Zahrani, A. (2024). Current trends in the methods of identification in forensic dentistry: a review of literature. International Journal Of Community Medicine And Public Health, 11(6), 2468–2475.



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