Forensic Dentistry

A special issue of Dentistry Journal (ISSN 2304-6767).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 December 2023) | Viewed by 13581

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Surgical Sciences, Traumatology and Sport Dental Research Center, University of Cagliari, Via Ospedale, 09124 Cagliari, Italy
Interests: sports medicine; pediatric dentistry; dental trauma; prosthodontic; orthodontics and forensic dentistry
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Guest Editor
Department of Interdisciplinary Medicine, Section of Legal Medicine, Policlinico di Bari Hospital, University of Bari, Piazza Giulio Cesare 11, 70124 Bari, Italy
Interests: endodontics; implantology; forensic dentistry

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Forensic dentistry cannot be neglected in the context of the relevant disciplines in close affinity with the clinical activity of dentists. Knowledge about forensic dentistry is fundamental in the ethics and professional training of the young dentist and welcomes research fields of great importance and relevance.

For this Special Issue, we welcome papers concerning the field of dental professional liability (malpractice) in its various clinical aspects (prosthetics, implantology, orthodontics, etc.), deontological aspects (information and consent) including the increasingly topical issue of telemedicine (such as remote control of the patient) and not least original contributions concerning the traditional field of post-traumatic damage evaluation of the oro-cephalic district. In addition, particular attention will be paid to the contributions regarding the assessment of biological age in minors or presumed such (as in the case of undocumented immigrants or adopted children), and personal recognition techniques in life and postmortem.

I am sure that many dentists and legal doctors will be interested in contributing with studies, reviews, and case reports to update this specialist sector with a view to an increasingly necessary common training course.

Prof. Dr. Enrico Spinas
Dr. Valeria Santoro
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • professional liability
  • personal identification
  • forensic dentistry
  • post-traumatic damage
  • age estimation

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

15 pages, 273 KiB  
Article
Awareness of Forensic Odontology among Dental Students and Faculty in Cyprus: A Survey-Based Study
by Kostis Giannakopoulos, Persefoni Lambrou-Christodoulou and Eleftherios G. Kaklamanos
Dent. J. 2024, 12(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/dj12010006 - 26 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1928
Abstract
This study aimed to evaluate the awareness, comprehension, and practices concerning forensic odontology among dental students and faculty at a Dental School in Cyprus. An online, cross-sectional, descriptive survey, employing an adapted, self-administered questionnaire, was disseminated to all dental students and faculty at [...] Read more.
This study aimed to evaluate the awareness, comprehension, and practices concerning forensic odontology among dental students and faculty at a Dental School in Cyprus. An online, cross-sectional, descriptive survey, employing an adapted, self-administered questionnaire, was disseminated to all dental students and faculty at the School of Dentistry, European University Cyprus, in November 2022. The survey assessed participants’ demographic information and explored their awareness with questions alluding to knowledge, attitudes and practices in forensic dentistry. Of those surveyed, 47 faculty members and 304 students responded, yielding response rates of 66.2% and 80%, respectively. Statistical analysis, including Kendall’s tau test and χ2 test were employed to examine correlations and associations, with Cramer’s V used to measure the strength of significant associations. The predetermined significance level was α = 0.05. Awareness levels were assessed through participants’ responses to specific questions in the survey. It was revealed that 87% of faculty and 65% of students were familiar with forensic odontology. A noteworthy 94% of faculty and 85% of students recognized teeth as DNA repositories. A high percentage, 98% of faculty and 89% of students, acknowledged the role of forensic odontology in the identification of criminals and deceased individuals. Awareness of age estimation through dental eruption patterns was evident in 85% of faculty and 81.6% of students. A substantial proportion (80% of faculty) maintained dental records, while 78% of students recognized the importance of dental record-keeping in ensuring quality care. Interestingly, 57% of students and 64% of faculty were aware of the possibility of dentists testifying as expert witnesses. The majority, 95.7% of faculty and 85% of students, concurred that physical harm, scars, and behavioral alterations predominantly indicate child abuse. The findings, revealing robust awareness among respondents, underscore the importance of enhancing faculty engagement in relevant seminars to further strengthen their knowledge. Additionally, emphasizing improved record-keeping practices for potential forensic applications emerges as a crucial aspect. These insights have implications for refining dental education in Cyprus and enhancing forensic practices by promoting ongoing professional development and emphasizing meticulous record-keeping within the dental community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forensic Dentistry)
11 pages, 2949 KiB  
Article
Palatal Rugae as a Discriminating Factor in Determining Sex: A New Method Applicable in Forensic Odontology?
by Andrea Trizzino, Pietro Messina, Fabio Massimo Sciarra, Stefania Zerbo, Antonella Argo and Giuseppe Alessandro Scardina
Dent. J. 2023, 11(9), 204; https://doi.org/10.3390/dj11090204 - 29 Aug 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1341
Abstract
The purpose of this study is a new method that can help to identify the sex through the study of palatal rugae, comparing sagittal sections of the hard palate using Cartesian coordinates and evaluating the assistance given by digital technology and its applicability [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study is a new method that can help to identify the sex through the study of palatal rugae, comparing sagittal sections of the hard palate using Cartesian coordinates and evaluating the assistance given by digital technology and its applicability in this method. In this study, 57 digital impressions were examined and divided in two groups based on sex. Results: 2223 impression sections were studied and 145 coordinates that were present with a frequency greater than 50% in one or both groups were obtained: 52 discriminating traits (DT) in the male group, 29 discriminating traits in the female group, and 64 common traits (CT). The DTs in the female group showed no statistically significant difference from the same coordinates in the male one (p = 0.832). Statistically significant differences were observed in the DTs in the male group compared to the same coordinates in the female group (p = 0.018). No statistically significant differences were observed in the frequency of DTs in both sexes (p = 0.056). Further research in forensic odontology is needed to determine its scientific certainty. It is certain that digital technology may one day be a valuable support for the forensic odontologist but to date the lack of dedicated and certified programs limits its reliability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forensic Dentistry)
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10 pages, 1044 KiB  
Article
Canine Crown Sexual Dimorphism in a Sample of the Modern Croatian Population
by Jelena Dumančić, G. Richard Scott, Ivana Savić Pavičin, Sandra Anić-Milošević, Nataša Medančić and Hrvoje Brkić
Dent. J. 2023, 11(7), 175; https://doi.org/10.3390/dj11070175 - 18 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1792
Abstract
Sex assessment is a key part of forensic analysis to establish the identity of unknown deceased individuals. Previous studies have shown that canines are the most dimorphic teeth, but population-specific data are necessary for forensic methods. This study explores sex dimorphism in canine [...] Read more.
Sex assessment is a key part of forensic analysis to establish the identity of unknown deceased individuals. Previous studies have shown that canines are the most dimorphic teeth, but population-specific data are necessary for forensic methods. This study explores sex dimorphism in canine crown dimensions and morphology in a contemporary Croatian population. The material consisted of 302 dental casts (147 females, 155 males) of orthodontic patients and dental students (11–25 years). The distal accessory ridge (DAR) of the upper and lower canines was evaluated using the Arizona State University Dental Anthropology System. Mesiodistal (MD) and buccolingual (BL) crown dimensions were measured on 120 casts. Sex differences in MD and BL dimensions were significant (p < 0.05) for all the canines (upper and lower, left and right), while in DAR only for lower canines (p < 0.000001). When all variables were put into the model, backward stepwise discriminant function analysis isolated lower canine DAR and lower left canine MD as the two independent variables differentiating sex. Using these two variables, a discriminant function formula allowed for sex determination with an accuracy of 73.5%. This study shows that both canine crown morphology and dimensions are useful for sex determination, especially for lower canines. These methods can be applied to children, as lower canines erupt at about 9 years of age. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forensic Dentistry)
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21 pages, 2532 KiB  
Article
Employing the London Atlas in the Age Estimation of a Select South African Population
by Sundika Ishwarkumar, Pamela Pillay, Manogari Chetty and Kapil Sewsaran Satyapal
Dent. J. 2022, 10(9), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/dj10090171 - 9 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2510
Abstract
Dental age estimation in the living and deceased is a fundamental aspect of forensic sciences, civil cases, medico-legal proceedings and clinical dentistry. Accordingly, this study aimed to validate the accuracy and reproducibility of the London Atlas in a select South African sample of [...] Read more.
Dental age estimation in the living and deceased is a fundamental aspect of forensic sciences, civil cases, medico-legal proceedings and clinical dentistry. Accordingly, this study aimed to validate the accuracy and reproducibility of the London Atlas in a select South African sample of KwaZulu-Natal. In this cross-sectional study, 760 digital panoramic radiographs (n = 760) aged between 5.00 and 23.99 years were retrospectively reviewed through consecutive sampling. Each radiograph was assessed and assigned a dental age in accordance with the London Atlas of Human Tooth Development and Eruption by AlQahtani et al. (2010). The London Atlas overestimated age with a mean difference of −0.85 to −1.26 years in the selected South African sample of KwaZulu-Natal. A statistically significant difference between the chronological and estimated dental ages was recorded. Furthermore, the South African Black and Indian males had a higher overestimation of age than their female counterparts, with a mean difference of 0.13 and 0.07 years, respectively. This overestimation was less in the South African Indian population in comparison to the SA Black population. This outcome resulted in the creation of the KZN population- and sex-specific charts and atlases for the two selected cohorts of KwaZulu-Natal. The KZN Atlases were found to be more accurate in the selected sample, with a mean absolute error of 0.57 years and no statistically significant differences between the chronological and estimated dental ages. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forensic Dentistry)
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15 pages, 287 KiB  
Article
The Application of the Cameriere’s Methodologies for Dental Age Estimation in a Select KwaZulu-Natal Population of South Africa
by Sundika Ishwarkumar, Pamela Pillay, Manogari Chetty and Kapil Sewsaran Satyapal
Dent. J. 2022, 10(7), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/dj10070130 - 8 Jul 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1794
Abstract
Background: The estimation of an individual’s age is a fundamental component of forensic odontology. Literary reports found that the efficiency of Cameriere methodology for age estimation varied among many population groups. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the applicability of the Cameriere methods [...] Read more.
Background: The estimation of an individual’s age is a fundamental component of forensic odontology. Literary reports found that the efficiency of Cameriere methodology for age estimation varied among many population groups. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the applicability of the Cameriere methods to a select South African population of the KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) province. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional retrospective study was conducted on 840 digital panoramic radiographs that met the inclusion criteria. Dental maturity was determined through the morphometric analysis of the seven left permanent mandibular and maxillary teeth in accordance with Cameriere et al. (2006). Moreover, the dental age was also calculated using the South African Black Bayesian formulae of the Cameriere method by Angelakopoulos et al. (2019). The paired sample t-test or Wilcoxon’s signed rank test assessed the significant difference between the chronological age and estimated dental age for the various formulae. A p-value < 0.05 was considered to be statistically significant. Results: The Cameriere et al. (2006) Italian formula and the South African Black Bayesian formulae of the Cameriere method by Angelakopoulos et al. (2019) underestimated and overestimated age in the South African Black and Indian population groups of the KZN province, respectively. Therefore, the authors generated a novel population-specific regression formulae (including and excluding third molars) using “step-wise regression analysis” and a “best-fit model” for the South African Black and Indian population groups of KZN. Conclusion: This study recommends that the population-specific formulae generated in this study be utilized in the KZN population to improve the accuracy of dental age estimation within this region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forensic Dentistry)
10 pages, 650 KiB  
Article
Age Assessment in Children and Adolescents by Measuring the Open Apices in Teeth: A New Sardinian Formula
by Enrico Spinas, Giorgia Melis, Nicoletta Zerman, Stefano De Luca and Roberto Cameriere
Dent. J. 2022, 10(4), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/dj10040050 - 22 Mar 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2528
Abstract
Age estimation in children is fundamental in both clinical and forensic fields. The aim of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of the Cameriere’s European and Italian formulae for age estimation in Sardinian children and adolescents, a genetically isolated population. A sample [...] Read more.
Age estimation in children is fundamental in both clinical and forensic fields. The aim of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of the Cameriere’s European and Italian formulae for age estimation in Sardinian children and adolescents, a genetically isolated population. A sample of 202 orthopantomograms of healthy Sardinian children and adolescents (100 females and 102 males) aged between 6 and 17 years was retrospectively evaluated. The seven left mandibular teeth were assessed with the Cameriere’s European and Italian formulae. The teeth with closed apex (N0) were counted and, in the teeth with open apex, the distance between the inner sides was calculated. All variables showed a significant and negative correlation with age except N0 and g. Sex (g), the variables s, N0, and the first-order interaction between them, contributed substantially to the age measurement (p < 0.001). Although the value of x5 had a low prediction level, it generated the following multiple linear regression formula, specific for the Sardinian sample: Age = 10.372 + 0.469 g + 0.810 N0 − 1.079 s − 0.398 s ∙ N0 − 0.326 × 5. Only the Sardinian and European formulae allowed to obtain an acceptable interclass agreement (both the lower and upper >0.7). The results showed that the European formula could be accurate for assessing age in this sample of children and adolescents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forensic Dentistry)
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