Author(s): Borrman H, Dahlbom U, Loyola E, Ren N, Borrman H, Dahlbom U, Loyola E, Ren N
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Abstract In forensic odontology, accurate detailed and complete recording of ante-mortem information is essential as the basis for odontological identification. Earlier studies on malpractice cases in Sweden indicated that the quality of the recording procedure was not always acceptable. Therefore, the aim of this retrospective study was to investigate the quality of ante-mortem records and its possible implications for identification work. All forensic odontology cases referred to the Department of Forensic Medicine in Göteborg between 1983 and 1992 were studied with regard to the instructions for dental records from the National Board of Health and Welfare. Information on dental characteristics, normal anatomical findings and restorative treatment was complete in 43 (68\%) of the cases, incomplete in 17 (27\%) and missing in 3 (5\%). Registration of previous therapy was missing in about 75 (94\%) of the records. It was possible to identify patient radiographs in only 16 of the 40 records where radiographs were available. In spite of this, the inaccuracies in the records did not seem to hamper the identification procedures in this study which could be explained by the character of the cases and the availability of medical and circumstantial information.
This article was published in Int J Legal Med
and referenced in Journal of Forensic Research