JFOS vol 39 n. 1 Apr 2021

December 27, 2022
ISSN 2219-67749
Vol 39
No 1 Apr 2021
Editorial Board
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Proposal of a formula mouth opening reduction assessment, for forensic purposes

Gabriela Cauduro Da Rosa, Mário Marques Fernandes, Edgard Michel Crosato, Rogerio Nogueira de Oliveira

Objectives: To propose a formula for determining reduced mouth opening due to oral and maxillofacial trauma, based on the normal standard of the Brazilian population.
Materials and Methods: First, the maximum mouth opening was established, in millimeters, using a digital pachymeter, in patients between 22 and 60 years of age. The opening was measured from the upper to the lower incisor, at maximum amplitude, without pain and overbite. Second, the facial profile type and height were determined. A formula was developed to calculate the percentage of reduced mouth opening based on the normal average.
Results: The average mouth opening was found to be 51.71 mm in men and 47.94 mm in women, thus establishing a statistically significant difference in mouth opening between sexes. However, there was no statistically significant difference between age and profile type with mouth opening. The following formulas were developed to calculate the reduced mouth opening, based on the averages found, by using RA= [100-(A.1.93)].0.3 for males and RA= [100-(A.2,08)] .0.3 for female patients.
Conclusion: Considering that mouth opening tends to be larger in men than in women, valid formulas can be used to determine the correct percentage of reduced mouth opening.

(J Forensic Odontostomatol 2021, 39; 1-2:8)

Radiographic changes in endodontically treated teeth submitted to drowning and burial simulations: is it a useful tool in forensic investigation?

Ana Paula Oliveira Fernandes, Victor Jacometti, Fernanda de Carvalho Panzeri Pires de Souza, Ricardo Henrique Alves da Silva

Dental radiographs, endodontic treatment and materials are a source of useful forensic data.  The response of dental materials to death-related events are widely studied and provide forensic evidence for experts.  This study aimed to analyze the radiographic images of endodontically treated teeth submitted to burial and drowning simulation, verifying its forensic feasibility, applicability and usefulness.  Material and method: n=20 bovine incisor teeth were endodontically treated then divided into two groups: burial and drowning scenarios. Teeth were radiographed two times (before and after scenario) with an aluminium stepwedge, and optical density (OD) was assessed in each root third, in both radiographs, and then compared (ANOVA and Tukey test) for each scenario. Results: Burial scenario did not significantly alter radiopacity. As for the drowning scenario, there was no difference in radiopacity between the root thirds before the test. After drowning, the apical third demonstrated lower OD (p<.05) than the other two thirds. Comparing the OD before and after drowning, medium third presented lower and cervical third demonstrated higher means (p<.05) after drowning. Conclusion: We concluded that drowning conditions could alter the radiopacity of endodontically treated teeth, more specifically in the medium and cervical thirds. There is no evidence that this also occurs in burial situations. This has the potential to be useful in forensic casework as an initial sign of the type of ambient in which the body was supposedly exposed or set.

(J Forensic Odontostomatol 2021, 39; 1-9:15)

Assessing the probability of having attained 16 years of age in juveniles using third molar development in a sample of South  Indian population

Kunchala Saranya, Swaroopa Rani Ponnada , Jalison Jacob Cheruvathoor, Subin Jacob, Gupta Kandukuri, Mrudula Mudigonda, Aishwarya Lakshmi Kasabu, Sudheer B. Balla7

Juvenile crime or delinquency has been increasing at an alarming rate in recent times. In many countries, including India, the minimum age for criminal responsibility is 16 years. The present study aimed to estimate the probability of a south Indian adolescent either being or being older than the legally relevant age of 16 years using Demirjian’s tooth formation stages. Orthopantomograms (OPG) of 640 south Indian adolescents (320 boys and 320 girls) aged between 12 and 20 years were retrospectively analyzed. In each OPG, Demirjian’s formation stage of the mandibular left third molar was recorded and the data was subjected to statistical analysis. Descriptive and Pearsons correlation statistics were performed. The empirical probabilities were provided relative to the medico-legal question of predicting 16 years of age. The distribution of age throughout the 10th, 25th, 50th, 75th and 90th percentile follows a logical distribution pattern horizontally and vertically. Pearson’s correlation statistics showed a strong positive correlation between the Demirjian’s stages and age for both sexes. Therefore, it can be concluded that stage “F” can be used to predict the attainment of age equal to or older than 16 years with a probability of 93.9% for boys and 96.6% for girls. 

(J Forensic Odontostomatol 2021, 39; 1-16:23)

Morphological dental trait examination of Ajnala skeletal remains and their possible population affinity

Ashith B. Acharya, Jagmahender S Sehrawat2

Objectives: The metric and non-metric features of the fragmented, badly damaged and commingled human remains play a significant role in their identity establishment in forensic anthropology. The main objective of the present study was to assess the population specific attributes of the unknown human dental remains excavated from an abandoned well, found underneath a religious structure at Ajnala (Punjab, India). Written accounts mentioned that Ajnala skeletal remains belonged to 282 Indian origin soldiers of the British army who had revolted against the colonial rulers in 1857, who were killed after capture, and their bodies dumped in an abandoned well.
Materials and Methods: Eleven non-metric dental traits were investigated in a sample of 1527 teeth (1200 dislodged teeth comprising of 300 canines, 300 premolars and 600 molars along with 93 jaw fragments having 327 teeth of different types) collected from this non-scientifically exhumed skeletal assemblage. These selected traits were examined with adequate magnification and lighting, using a flexible arm illuminated magnifier (Lensel Optics Pvt. Ltd., Pune, India), identified and scored in accordance with the descriptions provided in the Arizona State University Dental Anthropology System (ASUDAS).
Results: Eight of the eleven features examined (Carabelli trait, Hypocone absence, Cusp 5, Cusp 6, Tomes root, mesial canine ridge, Y-groove pattern, and four-cusp mandibular second molar) exhibited frequencies that were distinctly higher or lower than the three major continental ancestries. 
Discussion: Some amateur historians doubted the authenticity of the written versions and argued that these remains might belong to the non-Indians.Present study results revealed that the studied dental trait frequencies were not similar to any major continental ancestry and were relatively unique in Ajnala teeth like previous Indian studies.While this in itself does not guarantee that these teeth belong to individuals of the Indian subcontinent, it endorses previous scientific analyses and supports the written accounts that the majority of Ajnala teeth were probably Indian in origin. However, the determination of ethnicity from dental morphological features remains debatable and can be used only as suggestive than diagnostic tool owing to possible bias in recording morphological features of teeth. Although determining the racial affinity from teeth is very difficult, caution must be exercised in concluding the racial identity of an individual from the teeth. 

(J Forensic Odontostomatol 2021, 39; 1-24:34)

Sex estimation by maxillary sinus using computed tomography: a systematic review

Maille Ferreira Nunes Rocha, Julia Gabriela Dietrichkeit Pereira, Ricardo Henrique Alves da Silva2

Sex estimation is an important part of forensic human identification, and when primary methods cannot be applied, forensic anthropology becomes an important auxiliary method of identification. The maxillary sinus may remain intact even if the skull is severely damaged and could thus be used in forensic investigations. The objective of this study was to verify the effectiveness of the evaluation of the maxillary sinus as a technique for sex estimation. Articles published in the past 10 years were searched using PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, and Cochrane databases, including those that used computed tomography to perform maxillary sinus measurements with the purpose of sex estimation. Studies that used radiographs to perform the measurements were excluded because they do not allow for a three-dimensional analysis. Studies that did not provide information regarding the origin of the analyzed population were also excluded. The selected articles were evaluated for methodological quality according to the indication of the objective, studied population, inclusion and exclusion criteria, parameters for obtaining the computed tomography image, measurements evaluated, bias discussion, and ethical authorization. From the 52 articles found, 18 were included. The populations studied included Indians, Iraqis, Iranians, Egyptians, Brazilians, French, Dutch, and Turkish. Height, width, length, and volume of the maxillary sinus were measured. The maxillary sinus can act as an auxiliary tool for sex estimation in forensic investigations.

(J Forensic Odontostomatol 2021, 39; 1-35:44) 

Human identification through DNA analysis of teeth using powder-free method – A case study

Naresh Kumar, Arun Sharma

Change is the universal law of nature, and human bodies after death cannot be an exception for a long time. In forensic science, the tissue from the hardest part of the human body is the only hope to establish the identity, and maternity/paternity of unidentified dead bodies. In this case, a foreign national on a tourist visa to one of the Himalayan states went missing when passing through a dense forest. His relatives could not trace him despite the best efforts of the search team, because of inaccessible hilly terrain. Later on, shepherds while grazing their livestock in the forest area accidentally came across the fragmented remains of a human skeleton. They informed the villagers, and then the police. Teeth collected during the autopsy and blood samples of the putative son, and wife of the missing foreign national on FTA (Flinders Technology Associates) cards were sent to DNA Division, State Forensic Science Laboratory, Junga, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh to establish the identity. DNA profiles obtained from the blood samples of the putative son, wife of missing foreign national, and teeth showed a complete, and concordant match, which established the identity of the skeleton. Moreover, the probability of paternity (>99.99%) between unidentified deceased person and the putative son also assessed the identity of the deceased. Hence, human teeth from unidentified dead bodies can establish the identity of unidentified deceased persons.

(J Forensic Odontostomatol 2021, 39; 1-45:52)