Dental Human Identification using Radiographic Records of Oral Implant Placement – a Case Report

Case Report

Austin J Forensic Sci Criminol. 2014;1(1): 3.

Dental Human Identification using Radiographic Records of Oral Implant Placement – a Case Report

Rhonan Ferreira Silva1,4*, Ademir Franco2, Marcela Gratão de Castro3, Jade Arantes Vargas Dumant3, Robson Rodrigues Garcia4 and João Batista de Souza5

1Forensic Odontology, Federal University of Goias, Brazil

2Forensic Odontology, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium

3Faculty of Dentistry, Federal University of Goias, Brazil

4Maxillofacial Surgery, Federal University of Goias, Brazil

5Graduation program in Dental Clinics, Federal University of Goias, Braz

*Corresponding author: Rhonan Ferreira Silva, Forensic Odontology, Federal University of Goias, Av. Universitaria, Esquina com 1a Avenida s/n, Setor Universitario, Postal code: 74605-220, Goiania, Goias, Brazil

Received: September 01, 2014; Accepted: November 23, 2014; Published: December 01, 2014


Dental identification of charred bodies consists of a complex procedure, making necessary the investigation of especially unique dental identifiers. In parallel, Implantology has become more accessible worldwide. Consequently, clinical and radiographic records of implant procedures proportionately, are being increasingly available for legal purposes. Based on that, the present study aims to report a case of identification of a charred body through radiograph record of implant placement. In 2013, an unknown adult male became charred after a traffic accident. His body was referred for identification at the medico-legal institute. Concomitantly, relatives of the potential victims were asked to provide any medical record. Based on that, the Ante-Mortem (AM) data consisted of a clinical file; three periapical radiographs; six bitewing radiographs; and one panoramic radiograph dated from 2012; while the Post-Mortem (PM) data consisted of cadaveric radiographs; photographs and two dental implants retrieved from the charred body. Positive identification was achieved founded on the compatibility between the AM and PM morphology of the dental implants; the radiographic endodontic arrangement of the maxillary right third molar; and the thickness of the alveolar bone in the posterior region of the maxilla. In this context, clinicians must be aware of properly recording and storing steps of daily performances in Implantology in order to aid the justice; while forensic dentists must be aware of the best alternatives to overcome the limitations of identifying charred bodies.

Keywords: Implant; Radiograph; Morphology; Human identification; Forensic Odontology


The dental human identification is an essential procedure in the routine of medico-legal investigations. This procedure is often performed through the comparison between the available Ante- Mortem (AM) dental data of the missing person and the Post- Mortem (PM) data collected from oral autopsies [1]. The AM dental data usually consist of imaging records, dental casts, and clinical files; while the PM data comprehend a broad range of cadaveric records from intra- and extra oral cadaveric examinationination [2]. In special situations, dead bodies are found putrefied, mutilated, charred, and skeletonized hampering the forensic labor [3]. In this context, unique dental evidences, such as morphological traits and signs of treatment interventions, play a key role during the human identification process [1].

In the last decades, Implantology became an emerging branch of dentistry [4]. Consequently, the demand for computerized imaging examinations prior to implant planning potentially increased [5], making of Implantology a valuable source of AM data. In parallel, the adequate registration and storage of clinical procedures represent an essential step in order to aid the justice in face of legal requests for circumstances [6].

The present study aims to support the medical literature on the interface between Implantology and Forensic Odontology highlighting the value of radiographic evidences for dental human identifications.

Research Design& Methodology

In 2013, an unknown adult male was victim of fatal traffic accident. His body was found charred and referred to the local medico-legal institute for the investigation on the cause of death and dental identification. The cause of death was determined as “multiple trauma and carbonization”.

Broken and charred maxilla and mandible were used during the dental autopsy. Most of the teeth presented fractured crowns due to high temperature. However, a partially charred maxillary right third molar (#18) was found unerupted and impacted (Figure 1). Additionally, two single dental implants with metal-ceramic prosthetic crowns were collected from the body (Figure 2). Both implants; the tooth (#18); and the fragments of maxilla and mandible were referred for post-mortem radiographic examination (Figures 3-6).