Forensic Dental Consultant, Harris County Medical Examiner's Office, Houston, TX
(Received 4 June 1999; accepted 2 August 1999)
Forensic dental evaluation methods for use in a systematic approach to the dental identification of charred human remains are described. A systematic, conservative approach prevents the loss of valuable dental information before a thorough picture of the individual's dental remains has been adequately documented. The presenting conditions of fire victims are explained and illustrated with photographs, and a series of illustrations and text describe the damage seen in the dentition of the fire victim. A systematic four-stage process for gaining access to the intraoral structures of charred human remains is outlined and illustrated. Utilizing methods of access to the oral structures that maintain the integrity of the dentition through each stage of the evaluation of charred remains will prevent the loss of potential dental information before a thorough dental charting, intra-oral photographs, and radiographs can be obtained.
Paper ID: JFS14733J