Accuracy of dental registrations in forensic odontology among dentists and dental students.J Forensic Odontostomatol. 1994 Jun; 12(1):12-4.JF
In forensic odontology, registration of dental characteristics is crucial in the identification procedure. It has been found that the most common errors made are incorrect registration of restorations and confusion about premolars and molars in both jaws. In an earlier study, dental students were observers and the charting was made without radiographs. However, in practical forensic work dentists make the registrations and radiographs are usually available. In this investigation eight dental students and eight dentists made registrations on ten excised macerated jaws with the aid of radiographs. The mean number of errors for each jaw for the students and the dentist was 4 and 3 respectively. The most common error among the dentists was incorrect registration of restorations, while errors on registrations of missing teeth were most common among the students. Even though the material in this study was limited, the results indicate the importance of re-examining of postmortem findings before the comparison with the antemortem data is done. Additionally, the forensic work should be performed by specialists.