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American Journal of Forensic Medicine & Pathology:
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0b013e31829f6a29
Original Articles

Three-Dimensional Image Registration as a Tool for Forensic Odontology: A Preliminary Investigation

Abduo, Jaafar BDS, DClinDent, MRACDS*; Bennamoun, Mohammed MSc, PhD

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Abstract

Frequently, human dentition is utilized for victim identification. This report introduces a new human identification technique based on the principle of 3-dimensional (3D) image registration of the dentition. With the aid of a dry human skull, postmortem (PM) and antemortem (AM) scenarios were assumed. The skull in its initial state composed the PM scenario. Virtual 3D PM images were reconstructed from medical CT images. The AM scenario was achieved by reconstructing the missing hard and soft tissues of the skull by dental waxes. Virtual 3D AM images were obtained by laser surface scanning. The virtual PM and AM images were registered at 2 levels: arch level and tooth level. At arch level, the deviation between the 2 images was 0.147 mm for the maxilla and 0.166 mm for the mandible. At tooth level, the deviation average ranged from 0.077 to 0.237 mm. Qualitatively, even image fit was observed for the arches, intact teeth, and teeth with minimal deficiencies. As the tooth defect increased, the alignment discrepancy increased. It is concluded that 3D image registration ensured an accurate superimposition of the 3D images and can be used as a robust tool for forensic identification.

Copyright © 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

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