VIRDENTOPSY: Virtual dental autopsy and remote forensic odontology assessment



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Dent J (Basel). Sep 5, 2021; 9 (9): 102. doi: 10.3390 / dj9090102.


The identification of human remains is based on the comparison of post-mortem data, collected during the autopsy, with ante-mortem data collected from the reports of missing persons. DNA, fingerprints, and dental data are considered primary identifiers and are typically collected during any human identification process. Post-mortem dental data should be collected and analyzed by forensic odontologists, as a dental autopsy should not be confused with a dental examination. The virdentopsy project was inaugurated in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, to enable the correct treatment of human remains by collecting dental data on teeth and jaws, which was then transmitted remotely to forensic dentists for an expert opinion to obtain a generic profile of the unidentified human remains. The post-mortem dental biography is essential to refine the search for compatible missing persons, but requires the knowledge and experience of forensic odontologists. The virdentopsy process uses x-ray imaging (periapical x-rays, CT scans, panoramas), 2D / 3D photos and video recordings, photogrammetry documentation, 3D scanning and live streaming where possible. This registered term was created by merging the terms “virtual” and “dental autopsy” but without any commercial advantage. The proposed process combines research themes in the field of human rights of the dead and humanitarian forensic dentistry services. It should improve and accelerate the process of human identification of the deceased, estimation of the age of the living, analysis of panoramic radiographic images and be an educational tool for remote live training in forensic dentistry and in anatomy of skulls. This article presents an overview of the virdentopsy process in the field of forensic dentistry as a remote consultation as well as an educational tool for undergraduate and postgraduate students.

PMID: 34562976 | DOI: 10.3390 / dj9090102


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