Creating awareness regarding forensic odontology among non-forensic persons for successful dental identifications

H. Pandey (Lead / Corresponding author), E. Nuzzolese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Visual Identification by next of kin is the most common method of identifying unknown bodies in India. However, this technique is unscientific and unreliable, especially if the remains recovered are decomposing, skeletonized, charred, mutilated, saponified. Primary identifiers recommended by higher authorities for scientific identification of unknown bodies include comparison of fingerprints, DNA, odontology or unique medical records such as implants. Forensic Odontology has played a major role in identifying victims of mass disasters around the world, and few examples of successful application of dental data in DVI situations include the South Asian Tsunami, 2004, Black Saturday bushfires, 2009, Australia, Christchurch earthquake, 2011, etc. However, the application of forensic odontology for positive identifications is extremely limited. A major reason for this is the unavailability and inaccessibility to quality dental records and ante mortem data. To improve the collection of ante mortem data, it is urgent that we create awareness among local on-ground investigating agencies, and stakeholders. For this purpose, an awareness campaign iDENTifyme from the University of Turin, Italy was launched in India in local languages, and has since successfully assisted in collection of ante mortem data for positive identification.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)136-148
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Forensic Dental Sciences (JFDS)
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2022


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