Radiographic Recognition of Dental Implants as an Aid to Identifying the Deceased


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John William Berketa, B.D.S.
Forensic Odontology Unit
School of Dentistry
The University of Adelaide, Frome Road
Adelaide, SA 5005


Abstract:  This study was undertaken to determine if dental implants can be radiographically differentiated by company type to aid forensic identification of the deceased. Recognition of dental implants on intraoral radiographic images was assessed in a blind study using a radiographic examination guide to highlight differences between dental implants. Inter- and intra-examiner comparisons were conducted and a computer program (Implant Recognition System®) was evaluated to see whether it improved the accuracy of implant recognition. The study found that dental implants could be radiographically differentiated by company type. The Implant Recognition System® in its current form was of little benefit for radiographic assessment of dental implants for forensic odontologists. Prior knowledge of implant types, with a McNemar’s statistical value of 92.9, proved to be most significant in identification.