Author(s): Acharya AB, Taylor JA
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Abstract Forensic odontology plays an important role in the identification of human remains. While numerous studies have proven conclusively the uniqueness of the human dentition, forensic odontologists worldwide remain divided about the need for a minimum number of concordant points to confirm dental identification. This study reviewed 690 cases from the archives of the Forensic Odontology Unit, The University of Adelaide, to determine the validity of using a minimum number of concordant points to positively identify human remains. It was found that positive identification had been established using a varying number of concordant points. Although the incidence of positive identification was more frequent with a minimum of 12 concordant points, there were numerous cases where 12 or more concordant points failed to achieve a positive identification. Identities were also confirmed in some cases using less than 12 points of correspondence. There appears to be no basis for defining a minimum number of concordant points necessary before a positive identification can be made on dental evidence. Rather, the findings of this study reinforce the view that each case has its own individuality and should be treated as such.
This article was published in J Forensic Odontostomatol
and referenced in Journal of Forensic Research