Background: A missing mandible is a common problem in facial identification cases requiring forensic facial approximation or reconstruction. The Sassouni and Sassouni-Plus methods which are currently used to predict the missing mandible from the cranium produce low levels of accuracy.
Aims: This study proposes a new method for the estimation of the overall dimensions of the mandible based upon linear cranial measurements, the proposed method has the potential to be utilised in the facial reconstruction of a range of adult skulls with dentition.
Sample and method: 21 measurements were taken from a sample of 90 skulls, 44 male, 43 female and three juvenile, originating from 9 different geographical areas. Ordinary least-squares regression, hierarchical cluster analysis and analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used to investigate trends in the data and to produce equations for the estimation of condylar height, corpus length and anterior height.
Conclusion: When tested the equations produced an overall mean error of 0.09 mm with a standard deviation of ±4.84. The proposed method offers an improvement upon the currently used methods. It can be used to estimate the overall mandibular dimensions with a good level of accuracy.
- Facial identification
- Forensic anthropology
- Forensic facial approximation
- Forensic facial reconstruction
- Missing mandible estimation