Role of Dental Pathologies and other Anomalies in Forensic Identification of Unknown Human Skeletal Remains: a Review

Authors

  • Jagmahender Singh Sehrawat
  • Deeksha Sankhyan
  • Monika Singh

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.17063/bjfs9(1)y201940

Keywords:

Dental anomalies, Forensic identification, Human remains, Enamel hypoplasia, Tooth staining, Tooth wear

Abstract

Teeth are the most resistant and hardest structures of human body which are usually better preserved than other parts of skeleton and maintain their forensic odontological significance for a comparatively longer period of time. They retain their unique features even in the worst environmental conditions from taphonomic degradations to biological or chemical destructions. They can survive all sorts of natural or man-made disasters and the taphonomic destructions. Besides the unique odontological, molecular and chemical characteristics of teeth; the dental pathologies and structural anomalies also play crucial role in forensic identification of unknown human skeletal remains. The idiosyncratic features like tooth staining/coloration patterns, developmental defects, tooth wear and attritions, dental restorations/implants, cultural tooth modifications, tobacco or nut-chewing signs, occupational stigmas etc., act as valuable adjuncts to forensic examination of teeth found in forensic or bio-archaeological contexts. Dental pathologies and anomalies may reflect the oral hygiene, dietary patterns (like consumption of sweets and sugar, fats, proteins) socio-economic or socio-cultural, and the occupational status of an individual. Present review article presents a brief overview of different dental defects and their putative role in forensic anthropological identification of unknown human remains.

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Published

2019-09-21

How to Cite

Jagmahender Singh Sehrawat, Deeksha Sankhyan, & Monika Singh. (2019). Role of Dental Pathologies and other Anomalies in Forensic Identification of Unknown Human Skeletal Remains: a Review. Brazilian Journal of Forensic Sciences, Medical Law and Bioethics, 9(1), 40–52. https://doi.org/10.17063/bjfs9(1)y201940

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Section

Original Article