JFOS vol 29 n. 2 Dec 2011

December 23, 2022
ISSN 2219-67749
Vol 29
n. 2 December 2011
Editorial Board

Operation earthquake 2011:  Christchurch earthquake disaster victim identification

H. Trengrove

At 12.51pm on Tuesday 22 February 2011, an earthquake of magnitude 6.3 struck the Christchurch region of New Zealand causing massive destruction with hundreds of people injured and killed.  The New Zealand Society of Forensic Odontology response commenced two hours after the earthquake with the implementation of the national Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) forensic odontology plan.  The importance of good planning, the integration of odontology as part of the immediate response and the deployment of odontology personnel to the scene were features of this operation.  Stringent quality assurance processes were integrated into the planning which assisted in the robust outcomes.  Smile photograph comparisons played a role in a number of difficult identifications.  In the four months following the earthquake teams of odontology personnel worked tirelessly in an effort to identify the remains of those killed during the disaster.  At the conclusion of the operation 97% of the deceased have been identified and returned to their families

(J Forensic Odontostomatol 2011;29;2:1-7)

Forensic odontological examination of a 1500 year-old human remain in ancient Korea  (Gaya)

S. Lee, U.-Y. Lee, S.-H. Han, S.-S. Lee

Forensic odontological examination was performed on one of the 1500-year old human remains of ancient Korea (Gaya) excavated from a burial site at Songhyeon-dong, Changnyeong, South Korea in April, 2008. The main purpose of the examination was to age estimate the remains and record any dental characteristics to aid full-body reconstruction and life history data collection. Oral and radiographic examinations and metric data collection were conducted. During the oral examination, the following observations were made: dental caries, semi-circular abrasion on the maxillary right lateral incisor and enamel hypoplasia on the left and right canines and first premolars in the mandible. The metric data was similar to that of average metric data of modern Koreans. Age estimation was initially conducted using the degree of dental attrition with methods of Takei and Yun, and was estimated to be approximately 40 years. However, it was observed in the radiographic examination, that the maxillary right second molar, together with the mandibular left and right second and third molars had incompletely developed root apices. The age estimation was then performed using the developmental status of the lower second and third molars. The age was estimated to be approximately 16 years using Lee’s method which was consistent with the estimation using forensic anthropology. This case study highlights that the degree of attrition should not be used as a sole indicator for age estimation

(J Forensic Odontostomatol 2011;29;2:8-13)

Age estimation in archaeological skeletal remains: evaluation of four non-destructive age calculation methods

M. Vodanović,  J. Dumančić, I. Galić, I. Savić Pavičin, M. Petrovečki, R. Cameriere, H. Brkić

Estimation of age at death is an essential part of reconstructing information from skeletal material. The aim of the investigation was to reconstruct the chronological age of an archaeological sample from Croatia using cranial skeletal remains as well as to make an evaluation of the methods used for age estimation. For this purpose, four age calculation methods were used: palatal suture closure, occlusal tooth wear, tooth root translucency and pulp/tooth area ratio. Cramer’s V test was used to test the association between the age calculation methods. Cramer’s V test showed high association (0.677) between age determination results using palatal suture closure and occlusal tooth wear, and low association (0.177) between age determination results using palatal suture closure and pulp/tooth area ratio. Simple methods like palatal suture closure can provide data about age at death for large number of individuals, but with less accuracy. More complex methods which require qualified and trained personnel can provide data about age for a smaller number of individuals, but with more accuracy. Using different (both simple and complex) age calculation methods in archaeological samples can raise the level of confidence and percentage of success in determining age

(J Forensic Odontostomatol 2011;29;2:14-21)

Dental age assessment: are Demirjian’s standards appropriate for southern Chinese children?

J. Jayaraman,  N. M. King, G. J. Roberts,  H. M. Wong

Estimation of age is an important requisite in forensic, judicial and criminal proceedings. Dental age can be estimated from a dataset that has been prepared from a similar or a different population group. Demirjian and his co-workers proposed dental maturity scores from a French-Canadian population and this has served as a reference dataset for evaluation of age for various population groups. Considering the high number of illegal immigrants who have entered Hong Kong from neighboring countries, age estimation studies on southern Chinese is warranted. This study aimed to validate the applicability of Demirjian’s dataset on a southern Chinese population. A total of 182 dental panoramic tomographs comprising an equal number of boys and girls with an age range from 3 to 16 years were scored. Dental maturity scores were obtained from the Demirjian’s dataset and dental age was calculated. The difference in chronological and estimated dental ages was calculated using the paired t-test. There was a mean overestimation of dental age of 0.62 years for boys (p < 0.01) and 0.36 years for girls (p < 0.01). Demirjian’s dataset is not suitable for estimating the age of 3-16 years old southern Chinese children

(J Forensic Odontostomatol 2011;29;2:22-28)

Standards and practices for bite mark photography

G.S. Golden

In most crimes where bite marks are discovered, photographic accuracy is crucial to the investigative process since in many instances the bite mark(s) may be the only evidence linking a particular suspect to the crime. Therefore, the rationale for employing superior photographic principles is mandatory for the investigation team. This paper will discuss current standards, best practice, and armamentaria for digital photography of bite mark injuries on skin. Full spectrum protocols will be described including Alternate Light Imaging, Reflective Ultra-violet, and Infrared techniques for photo-documentation of images of bite marks and other bruise patterns that have been inflicted on human skin

(J Forensic Odontostomatol 2011;29;2:29-37)

A pilot study in the recovery and recognition of non-osseointegrated dental implants following cremation

J. Berketa, H. James, V. Marino

Minimal dimensional changes in free standing dental implants when incinerated in a kiln to a temperature of 1125°C have been reported previously. However, in the same study colour changes were observed between commercially pure titanium and titanium alloy type of implants, with speculation that this change may be a useful distinguishing tool in cases requiring forensic identification. The present study was instigated to determine what changes occur following cremation to bone-supported dental implants placed within mandibles of sheep. A selection of dental implants was photographed and radiographed. They were then surgically placed in sheep mandibles and the entire sheep heads cremated in a commercial cremator. There was detachment of the dental implants from the mandible, which could have implications for scene recovery. Following retrieval and re-irradiating of the implants, image subtraction evaluation of the radiographs was recorded using Adobe® Photoshop.® As with the previous study there was slight oxidation of the implant surfaces leading to minor alteration of the images. There was, however, no gold crust colour change in the commercially pure titanium. Photography within the retrieved implants revealed the batch number within the Straumann! implant was still visible, which could significantly add weight to the identification of deceased persons

(J Forensic Odontostomatol 2011;29;2:38-44)

Study of the effect of age changes on lip print pattern and its reliability in sex determination

K. Randhawa, R. S. Narang, P. C. Arora

Cheiloscopy, a forensic investigation technique, deals with the study of elevations and depressions which form a characteristic pattern on the external surface of the lips. The objective of the study was to determine the most common lip patterns in North Indian population, to evaluate whether sex determination is possible on the basis of lip prints and to ascertain if there is any co-relation between advancing age and its effect on lip pattern. A total of 600 subjects, 289 males and 311 females were selected and divided into three age groups (group 1: 1-20 years, group 2: 21-40 years, group 3: 40 years and above). Statistical analysis (applying Chi square test) showed very highly significant difference for different lip patterns (p < 0.0001) in males and females in group 2 and no significant difference in group 1 and group 3. The most predominant pattern in the entire study population was Type I (32.33%). Age changes like immaturity of lips in younger age and diminished anatomic details and tonicity in older age can have a considerable effect on the lip pattern, thereby making the correct identification of sex in these age groups debatable

(J Forensic Odontostomatol 2011;29;2:45-51)

Book review

Disaster Victim Identification – Experience and Practice –

D. Clark