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CASE REPORT   Free accessfree

Minerva Forensic Medicine 2023 March;143(1):19-23

DOI: 10.23736/S2784-8922.23.01831-9

Copyright © 2023 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Forensic odontology identification in a case of flash-fire death

Massimiliano ESPOSITO 1, Federico PRIVITERA 1, Gabriele LICCIARDELLO 1, Andrea G. MUSUMECI 2, Angelo MONTANA 3, Monica SALERNO 1, Francesco SESSA 1, Cristoforo POMARA 1

1 Department of Medical, Surgical and Advanced Technologies “G.F. Ingrassia”, University of Catania, Catania, Italy; 2 Unity of Radiology, AOU San Marco Polyclinic, University of Catania, Catania, Italy; 3 Department of Biomedical Sciences and Public Health, Ancona, Italy



Forensic dentistry, or forensic odontology is a great chapter in forensic pathology that focuses on the dental remains of unrecognizable cadavers to perform their recognition. In some cases, dental identification is the only method available to make or refute the identification of a cadaver. During a crime scene investigation, human remains were found in a completely burned-out car. At the external examination, the cadaver was unrecognizable. At complete autopsy, the presence of soot in the airways was ascertained as a vitality marker. A forensic dental examination was performed. Dental photos of a suggested missing man were analyzed and showed the same anatomical dental features as those of the cadaver. The comparison of the orthopantomogram (OPT) obtained ante mortem from the missing person with the one obtained post mortem from the cadaver matched perfectly. Hence, forensic odontology proved valuable to identify the cadaver working in conjunction with forensic pathology and forensic radiology.


KEY WORDS: Case reports, Forensic sciences; Dentistry; Death

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