The Role of Charting Dental Anomalies in Human Identification

Jayapriya Jayakumar (Lead / Corresponding author), Scheila Manica

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An increase in awareness on dental hygiene among people through the years, consequently provoked a significant decrease in the occurrence of dental caries, and thus, a decrease in the number of dental restorations. This improvement of oral health affected the comparative dental analysis using dental treatments for identification and forensic odontologists should assess existing dental features or anomalies that could act as unique identifying features. This study evaluated the awareness of dentists on charting dental anomalies by a dental charting task and addressed the importance of maintaining dental records for forensic and medico-legal purposes. An online survey-based study was conducted on 101 dentists practicing in the South Indian states of Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu through Google Forms (© 2019 Google Inc., v 0.8). Results showed that obvious anomalies such as midline diastema, crowding, and transposition were mentioned by only 11.8 %, 22.7 % and 5.9 % of the respondents respectively. 17.8 % misnamed the accessory cusp on a premolar as a Talon’s cusp. The awareness of Forensic odontology among dentists was exceptional but the dental charting needs improvement. A “Scale of Forensic Significance of Dental Features” was created to interpret the accuracy in recording anomalies which comprised of three parameters namely: Incorrect answer (0 %), Partially Correct answer (50 %) and Accurate answer (100 %). They classify different levels of forensic significance of dental findings in human identification Only a few respondents submitted an Accurate or a Partially Correct answer and, as a result, an Atlas of Dental Anomalies was created to rectify this poor pattern of dental charting.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100086
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalForensic Science International: Reports
Early online date1 Apr 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Forensic Odontology
  • Dental identification
  • Dental Charting
  • Dental Features
  • Dental Anomalies


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