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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 54-60

An emergence of dental tissues in the forensic medicine for the postmortem interval estimation: A scoping review

1 Senior Lecturer, Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, AIMST University, Bedong, Kedah, Malaysia
2 Associate Professor, Department of Maxillo-facial Prosthodontics, Faculty of Dentistry, AIMST Dental Institute, AIMST University, Bedong, Kedah, Malaysia

Correspondence Address:
Sridevi Ugrappa
Faculty of Dentistry, AIMST Dental Institute, AIMST University, Semeling 08100, Bedong, Kedah
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_20_20

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It is observed that there is not enough literature to support the usefulness of dental tissue in forensic medicine for the estimation of postmortem interval (PMI). Therefore, the authors of this article have systematically reviewed the available literature to understand the most used dental tissues, the methods employed to evaluate these tissues, and their reliability in PMI estimation. A MEDLINE–PubMed search engine was used to review the literature using the keywords “teeth,” “dental tissues,” “post-mortem interval,” and “forensic dentistry” from 2001 until 2020. The most used tissue was dental pulp, but other cellular- and molecular-level dental tissues such as enamel, dentin, cementum, periodontal ligament, odontoblast, and mitochondrial and nuclear DNA and RNA were also used. Based on this observation, the authors have provided the categorical classification to evaluate these dental tissues into morphological, histopathological, and molecular-level examination to understand the reliability of these dental tissues. The molecular examinations to evaluate these tissues were widely employed and emerging in the estimation of PMI as this method could provide a reliable outcome when compared with others. Since the literature reviewed was not enough to answer our questions, however, to conclude, the dental pulp is the widely used tissue so far. Further, more studies are required to authenticate the role of other dental tissues to predict the PMI at an early stage with cost-effective and most convenient techniques.

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