alexa Odontological identification of fire victims--potentialities and limitations.
General Science

General Science

Journal of Forensic Research

Author(s): Andersen L, Juhl M, Solheim T, Borrman H, Andersen L, Juhl M, Solheim T, Borrman H

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Abstract A retrospective study was performed to analyse the power of odontological evidence in burn victims. The material comprised 292 single fire cases registered at 4 centers of forensic odontology in Scandinavia (DK: Aarhus, Copenhagen; N: Oslo; S: Goteborg) covering a 10-year period. Filed antemortem (am) and postmortem (pm) data were critically reviewed and registered. New systems for classification of the degree of injuries to the teeth and jaws and of the quality of dental records were developed. Matching dental am-pm units/features were recorded using the tooth as unit. Units were scored as either ordinary or extraordinary if the frequency of occurrence in a Danish reference population was > or = 10\% or < 10\%, respectively. The ID conclusion of a single case was classified into one of the categories: no conclusion, ID possible, ID probable or ID established, depending on the number of ordinary/extraordinary matching units. All age groups were represented. Most fatal burns occurred in house fires (62\%) and there was a preponderance of males (71\%). Detailed written records supplied by single or by systematic radiographs were available in 71\% of cases. About 50\% of burn victims were classified into the no-injury group and approximately 25\% of cases showed injuries to the anterior teeth only. The number and complexity of dental restorations increased with age. The dental examination was a powerful tool in identification of burn victims. Thus, dental identity (ID) was established in 61\% of burn victims and dental evidence assisted the identification in another 31\% (ID possible 19\%; ID probable 12\%).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)
This article was published in Int J Legal Med and referenced in Journal of Forensic Research

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