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A Journal on Dentistry and Maxillofacial Surgery

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Odontostomatology and Maxillofacial Surgery
Indexed/Abstracted in: CAB, EMBASE, Index to Dental Literature, PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index




Minerva Stomatologica 2012 April;61(4):165-73

language: English, Italian

Digital radiological research in forensic dental investigation: case studies

Nuzzolese E. 1, Di Vella G. 2

1 Forensic Odontologist, Bari, Italy;
2 Section of Legal Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine and Public Medicine, University of Bari, Bari, Italy


The advent of dental digital radiology and new portable X-ray devices allows the execution of periapical X-ray images not only in the dental surgery but also in hitherto difficult locations such as field military hospitals, archaeological excavation sites, morgues and in cases of house arrest. In this work authors evaluated the feasibility of Nomad Examiner (Aribex inc.) handheld X-ray device combined with a digital sensor and a portable pc in forensic odontology applications. Employed for the first time forensically during the 2004 Tsunami victim identification process, the Nomad Examiner has now passed all security and conformity requirements of US and EU regulations. Examples of the practical use and the technical features of this device are seen when employed in odontological assessment of skeletonised and carbonized individuals and the assessment of individuals under house arrest complaining dental lesions.
Results from the use this portable device demonstrate the benefits of a dental radiological assessment during an autopsy with the aim of human identification and the importance of a complete dental assessment (clinical and radiological) when evaluating dental traumatic lesions of individuals who cannot visit a dental surgery. In the first example forensic dentist would work alongside a forensic pathologist. On the other hand in the second example an odontologist - dentist could be appointed as an expert witness directly by a Court.

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