Three-dimensional analysis of the uniqueness of the anterior dentition in orthodontically treated patients and twins

A. Franco, G. Willems, P.H.C. Souza, O.M. Tanaka, W. Coucke, P. Thevissen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Dental uniqueness can be proven if no perfect match in pair-wise morphological comparisons of human dentitions is detected. Establishing these comparisons in a worldwide random population is practically unfeasible due to the need for a large and representative sample size. Sample stratification is an option to reduce sample size. The present study investigated the uniqueness of the human dentition in randomly selected subjects (Group 1), orthodontically treated patients (Group 2), twins (Group 3), and orthodontically treated twins (Group 4) in comparison with a threshold control sample of identical dentitions (Group 5). The samples consisted of digital cast files (DCF) obtained through extraoral 3D scanning. A total of 2.013 pair-wise morphological comparisons were performed (Group 1 n = 110, Group 2 n = 1.711, Group 3 n = 172, Group 4 n = 10, Group 5 n = 10) with Geomagic Studio® (3D Systems®, Rock Hill, SC, USA) software package. Comparisons within groups were performed quantifying the morphological differences between DCF in Euclidean distances. Comparisons between groups were established applying One-way ANOVA. To ensure fair comparisons a post-hoc Power Analysis was performed. ROC analysis was applied to distinguish unique from non-unique dentures. Identical DCF were not detected within the experimental groups (from 1 to 4). The most similar DCF had Euclidian distance of 5.19 mm in Group 1, 2.06 mm in Group 2, 2.03 mm in Group 3, and 1.88 mm in Group 4. Groups 2 and 3 were statistically different from Group 5 (p < 0.05). Statistically significant difference between Group 4 and 5 revealed to be possible including more pair-wise comparisons in both groups. The ROC analysis revealed sensitivity rate of 80% and specificity between 66.7% and 81.6%. Evidence to sustain the uniqueness of the human dentition in random and stratified populations was observed in the present study. Further studies testing the influence of the quantity of tooth material on morphological difference between dentitions and its impact on uniqueness remain necessary.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)80-87
Number of pages8
JournalForensic Science International
Early online date27 Feb 2017
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017


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