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The teeth of cadavers reveal their identity
Date:6/29/2010

At present, we are in a restorative phase (where teeth are restored) as opposed to extractive (when teeth are removed), as they were previously.

"But by analysing the data bases of dental patterns in Spanish populations according to different age groups and birth cohorts, we found test results with high homogeneity for all the databases, which shows the value of this system for identifying people, and its forensic utility", says the researcher.

Comparing teeth before and after death

In this procedure, an oral autopsy makes it possible to obtain a cadaver's dental data. To do this, forensic scientists use a range of techniques depending upon the body's state of preservation. In some cases they have to remove the maxillary bones in order to find details that cannot be identified in any other way.

The post mortem dental pattern is compared with the dental data of the person in life, information that is provided by dentists, although it can also come from doctors and family members. Various IT programmes are used to help in comparison and identification.

Aside from this finding, the team has developed a piece of software to identify bite marks. This tool makes it possible to superimpose, precisely and in 3D, the mark left by a bite over the tooth arrangement of a possible suspect.


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Contact: SINC
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FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

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