Pakistan’s Position in Forensic Odontology and Dental Records

Falak Murad Shah Syed (Lead / Corresponding author), Suman Shoro, Scheila Manica

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Forensic Odontology (FO) still strives for recognition in some countries such as Pakistan. Natural and man-made disasters, along with child abuse cases and age estimation for child marriages and juvenile imprisonments in Pakistan justify its applicability.

Aims: This study investigated the awareness, information, training, practice and interest in FO in dental professionals in Pakistan. Another aim was to design tools to deliver primary knowledge about FO and emphasize the importance of dental records.

Methodology: A 10-question paper-based survey was distributed amongst 560 dental professionals and postgraduates of 14 public dental institutes/hospitals in Pakistan. The results were quantitatively analyzed by graphs using Microsoft Excel (version 16.22). An educational video and an informative leaflet were produced after the survey was undertaken to explain the scope of FO and the importance of dental records respectively.

Results: 476 dentists (51%♀, 49 %♂) aged 20 – 50+ years responded and 98.53% confirmed that FO was not taught in the dental schools. 66% were aware of the field and 62% were only informed. 99% were not trained and 89.7% are not working in this field; however, 89% were interested in training within Pakistan. Considering dental charts, 60.92% do not produce detailed charts but 55% maintain them and the majority do so manually. Radiographs were the most stored type.

Conclusions: Most dentists are aware of the existence of FO, but they need to acknowledge the significance of dental record keeping and encourage implementation of FO. Regardless of the absence of any governing body for FO and negligible education, training and implementation in Pakistan, this field is gradually progressing. The authorities should introduce detailed guidelines for recording, managing and storing the dental records. They should ensure the future and acknowledgement of this subject in the education system and assign forensic dentists to the Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) team.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-56
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Forensic Odonto-Stomatology
Volume38
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2020

Keywords

  • Forensic Odontology
  • Pakistan Surveys
  • Dental Records
  • Awareness Video
  • Guidelines
  • Public Communication

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