Korean J Leg Med.  2003 May;27(1):38-44.

The Usefulness of Panoramic Radiography in Human Identification

  • 1Department of Oral Diagnosis and Oral Medicine, College of Dentistry, Yonsei University, Korea.
  • 2Department of Forensic Medicine, College of Medicine, Yonsei University, Korea. forensic@yumc.yonsei.ac.kr
  • 3College of Dentistry, Yonsei University, Korea.
  • 4Human Identification Research Institute, Yonsei University, Korea.


Panoramic radiography, which can show dental characteristics in one film and evaluate postmortem information, may be highly valuable in human identification. The purpose of this study is to evaluate usefulness of human identification with dental characteristics shown in panoramic radiography through panoramic radiographies of 300 randomly selected patients who visited Yonsei University Dental Hospital. Dental characteristics of each film were classified into 8 types and diversity of dental characteristics was evaluated by turning the informations into codes. Diversity of panoramic radiography using both maxillary and mandibular dental characteristics was 99.58%. When mandibular dental characteristic (98.99%) was used alone, the diversity was found to be higher than that of maxillary dental characteristic (97.92%). Maxillary dental characteristics showed diversity in the order of right molars (92.32%), left molars (92.02%), and incisors (41.54%), while that of mandible was in the order of right molars (96.09%), left molars (95.70%), and incisors (18.97%). As a result, human identification using panoramic radiography proved to be useful not only when the whole teeth are present but also when only molars are present. Therefore, it is expected to be applied more economically and practically in identifying a large number of victims from mass disasters as well as wars.


Panoramic radiography; Human identification; Diversity; Dental characteristics
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