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NCJ Number: 200456 Find in a Library
Title: Diversity of Adult Dental Patterns in the United States and the Implications for Personal Identification
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:48  Issue:3  Dated:May 2003  Pages:497-503
Author(s): Bradley J. Adams Ph.D.
Date Published: May 2003
Page Count: 7
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In order to empirically address the issue of diversity for dental patterns in the population as a whole, this study examined the frequencies of dental patterns in two large, representative dental datasets.
Abstract: One of the datasets was a sample of a large number of adults from the civilian U.S. population that was originally compiled as part of the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III). This is a multifaceted health examination survey that was conducted between 1988 and 1994 in the United States to collect data on the civilian, noninstitutionalized population. The second dataset is composed of a modern sample of 19,422 U.S. military personnel. The data were originally collected in 1994 and 2000 as part of two phases of the Tri-Service Comprehensive Oral Health Survey (TSCOHS). The data from both the NHANES III and the TSCOHS studies contained detailed codes regarding the conditions of the individual teeth. A dataset of detailed information was constructed to record the specific locations of restorations on the tooth surfaces. In order to test the overall diversity of dental patterns, a FORTRAN program, written by Dr. Lyle Konigsberg at the University of Tennessee Knoxville, performed pairwise comparisons of the two datasets and generated the total number of pattern matches. In addition, both of the datasets were pooled and the same pairwise comparisons were performed. The overall diversity of dental patterns formed by missing, filled, and unrestored teeth was explored for each of the datasets. The findings show that the diversity of dental patterns, regardless of the data format, was very high and that the patterns formed by missing, filled, and unrestored teeth were an excellent means of personal identification. It was further determined that the diversity in dental patterns was on a scale comparable to mtDNA. Thus, dental patterns were validated as an excellent means of forensic identification, especially when antemortem radiographic evidence is unavailable. 5 tables and 22 references
Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): Death investigations; Dental analysis; Forensic sciences; Investigative techniques; Victim identification
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