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J Forensic Sci. 2009 Jul;54(4):909-14. doi: 10.1111/j.1556-4029.2009.01076.x. Epub 2009 May 26.

Uniqueness of the dentition as impressed in human skin: a cadaver model.

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Laboratory for Forensic Odontology Research, School of Dental Medicine, SUNY at Buffalo, B1 Squire Hall, S. Campus, Buffalo, NY 14214, USA.


Bitemark interpretation assumes that the human dentition is unique and that its attributes can be accurately transferred to skin. A cadaver model was used to investigate whether the correct biter could be determined from similarly aligned dentitions once the dentitions were impressed in human skin. One-hundred dental stone models, which were measured and determined to be unique, were divided into 10 groups based upon similarities of mal-alignment patterns. One model was randomly selected from each group and bites were produced on unembalmed human cadavers. Metric/angular measurements and hollow volume overlays of the models were compared with the bites made. The percentage of dentitions from each group as well as the 100 dental model population that could not be excluded as the biter was determined. Results showed difficulty distinguishing the biter from individuals with similarly aligned dentitions and in some cases, an incorrect biter appeared better correlated to the bite.

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