Volume 50, Issue 1 (January 2005)
Computer-Based Production of Comparison Overlays from 3D-Scanned Dental Casts for Bite Mark Analysis
Bite mark analysis assumes the uniqueness of the dentition can be accurately recorded on skin or an object. However, biting is a dynamic procedure involving three moving systems, the maxilla, the mandible, and the victim's reaction. Moreover, bite marks can be distorted by the anatomic location of the injury or the elasticity of the skin tissue. Therefore, the same dentition can produce bite marks that exhibit variations in appearance. The complexity of this source of evidence emphasizes the need for new 3D imaging technologies in bite mark analysis. This article presents a new software package, DentalPrint® (2004, University of Granada, Department of Forensic Medicine and Forensic Odontology, Granada, Spain) that generates different comparison overlays from 3D dental cast images depending on the pressure of the bite or the distortion caused by victim-biter interaction. The procedure for generating comparison overlays is entirely automatic, thus avoiding observer bias. Moreover, the software presented here makes it impossible for third parties to manipulate or alter the 3D images, making DentalPrint suitable for bite mark analyses to be used in court proceedings.