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Journal of Dental Specialities

Role of forensic odontology in disaster victim identification in the Indian context

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Author Details: Acharya AB

Volume : 3

Issue : 1

Online ISSN : 2393-9834

Print ISSN : 2320-7302

Article First Page : 89

Article End Page : 91


Proper identification of the dead in disasters is an essential component of ensuring closure to surviving family, while also addressing legal issues pertaining to insurance and inheritance claims. The use of the dentition is considered integral to the process and methods of identification, and is standard procedure around the world. However it is seldom applied in the Indian context, which still relies more on unscientific methods such as visual identification and personal property. The Disaster Management Act of 2005 also has no reference to the use of scientific methods of post-mortem identification. This is reflected in several recent disasters—both accidental and natural—wherein bodies were not identified thoroughly, contributing to misidentification. Dentists are willing to assist in the identification process and it is for the government and local administrations to make the most of such services by passing regulations that ensure the use of teeth in post-mortem identification.

Key terms:
Disasters, Forensic dentistry, Post-mortem dental identification, India, Dental records