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  Most popular articles (Since June 28, 2016)

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Racial characteristics of human teeth
Shivlal M Rawlani, Sudhir S Rawlani, Rahul R Bhowate, Rakhi M Chandak, Monika Khubchandani
January-June 2017, 2(1):38-42
Forensic odontology is a branch of dentistry which deals with the appropriate handling and examination of dental evidence which help in identification of person and presentation of dental findings in the interest of justice. It is concerned with the application of science and technology in human identification, requiring the coordinated efforts of a multidisciplinary team. Determining the racial affinity of an unknown individual from dentition for identification is indeed a difficult endeavor. However, there are some dental characteristics which are predominant in one of racial groups, and these contribute important indicators in the identification process. Forensic anthropologists most often provide details of bone studies, but forensic dentists can assist in the process. The determination of sex and ancestry can be accessed from shape and form of the skull, especially from skull appearance. Forensic dentists can determine race within the three major groups: Caucasoid, Mongoloid, and Negroid. Additional characteristics of teeth, such as cusps of Carabelli, shovel-shaped incisors, and multicusped premolars, can also assist in the determination of ancestry.
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Sex identification in forensic odontology- a review of various methodology
Bhawani Gupta, Mogit Gupta
January-June 2016, 1(1):9-13
Forensic odontology is the investigative part of dentistry that applies dental principles to legal issues that analyses dental evidence for human identification. Sex determination is a subdivision of forensic odontology, and it is very important, especially when information relating to the deceased is unavailable. The compilation and critical reading are necessary to understand the role of forensic odontology expert with regard to sex determination using dental records. This article reviews upon the various methods used in sex determination in forensic odontology.
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Truth from untruth: Dental pulp and its role in forensic odontology – a retrospective review
Jayalakshmi Kumaraswamy, Jaya Naidu, Raghunandan Bangalore Nagarajachar, Mahesh Batalahalli Sreenivas Reddy
January-June 2017, 2(1):30-33
Forensic identification by its nature is a multi-disciplinary approach relying on positive identification methodology. This branch dealing with the identification of the deceased has many maxims, the best known of which, is that every contact leaves its trace. The identification of dental remains are of primary importance when the deceased person is skeletonized, decomposed, burned, or dismembered. A google literature search was done on various studies done using dental pulp in forensic odontology. Based on the available data, the details were analysed and reviewed. Pulp plays a pivital role in forensic odontology. Pulpal tissue can be used for molecular analysis to determine Age, Sex and Blood group antigen. Apart from these, the extracted DNA from Pulp can be used for Personal Identification. Odontoblasts present in pulp can be used to assess age as well as the days of death. To conclude Dental pulp has a high potential value in forensic odontology.
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Laxmikanth Chatra, Tim Peter, Auswaf Ahsan
July-December 2016, 1(2):48-52
Cheiloscopy has been fascinating from the time it took a prominent place in the field of forensic dentistry. This article aims at a review tracing the cheiloscopic studies conducted worldwide. It highlights the results achieved of each research work, and focus is made on the effect of the same. Cheiloscopy and dermatoglyphics with its various applications have immense potential, which are not fully explored till date, and it is necessary to channel the resources of cheiloscopy in a proper channel and henceforth maximum scientific benefit can be achieved with the same.
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Forensic odontology - "Dentist as a third eye"
Nikhil Raj, Jeena Sebastian, GK Shakunthala, B Siva, P Shibu
July-December 2016, 1(2):53-57
Forensic odontology plays a key role in the identification of those individuals who cannot be identified visually or by other means. Forensic odontology involves the management, examination, evaluation, and presentation of dental evidence in criminal or civil proceedings, all in the interest of justice. The unique nature of dental anatomy and placement of custom restorations ensure accuracy when the techniques are correctly employed. Forensic odontologist must also have the basic knowledge of the role of a forensic pathologist and the methods used in autopsy, as dental evidence is the most valuable and reliable method. Dental professionals play a major role in keeping accurate dental records and providing all necessary information so that legal authorities may recognize malpractices, negligence, and child abuse and also identify an individual. In this article, we will discuss such evolvement of the subject. This review is based on the information collected from standard research articles and literature from textbooks. Data were thoroughly evaluated and formatted.
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Age determination by schour and massler method: A forensic study
G Jaquilin George, Laxmikanth Chatra, Prashanth Shenoy, KM Veena, Rachana V Prabhu, LS Vagish Kumar
January-June 2018, 3(1):36-39
Introduction: Age determination can be done by assessing the developmental and eruption status of dentition in the oral cavity. Schour and Massler studied the development of human dentition radiographically and histologically and put forward a chart explaining the stages of both deciduous and permanent teeth development in 21 stages. This chart is used in this study to estimate the age in the study population. Aim: The aim of the study was to check the efficacy of Schour and Massler method in determining the age of the study population using Schour and Massler chart of teeth development. Methodology: This study comprised of 62 panoramic images, taken from the department of oral medicine and radiology archives. Age was assessed by comparing the tooth developmental stages on panoramic radiographs with the standards using Schour and Massler chart. To check the accuracy of the present method, the actual age of the samples was matched with the dental age (DA) estimated by Schour and Massler method. Results: Data were statistically analyzed using paired t-test and correlation was done. It showed a strong correlation between the actual age and DA by Schour and Massler method. Conclusion: Schour and Massler method is a reliable method for age estimation in the study population.
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Commonly used different dental age estimation methods in children and adolescents
Roshan K Chaudhary, Nagabhushana Doggalli
July-December 2018, 3(2):50-54
Age is an important factor for all the human beings whether it is living or dead. It is useful for day-to-day life works such as educational purpose, governmental purpose, job purpose, medical purpose, crime investigation, court of law, clinical practices, research, and reconstructive identification purpose in case of dead individuals. Of many procedures for age estimation such as chronological age, bone age, mental age, and others, dental age estimation is considered to be an important procedure as tooth development shows less inconstancy than other developmental features or in relation to chronological age and also teeth are most tough and resilient part of the skeleton. High survivability of teeth exposed to severe physical factors, such as fire and water immersion, make assessment of developing teeth the method of choice in forensic age estimation. Age estimation using teeth can be divided into three categories of age groups: prenatal, neonatal, and early postnatal period; children and adolescents; and adults. Children are defined as the human beings from birth to puberty and adolescents as from puberty to approximately age of 20 years. Hence, the motive is to overview for dental age estimation in children and adolescents from different techniques.
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Sexual dimorphism of radiomorphological features of frontal sinus
Padma Pandeshwar, Naveen N Kumar, Shilpa Padar Shastry, Akanksha Ananthaswamy, Archana Markande
July-December 2017, 2(2):46-50
Objective: Radiographs of the frontal sinus have been used in personal identification due to its uniqueness configuration. Largely there has been little agreement regarding the reliability of frontal sinus in gender determination. This study was performed to verify the dependability of radiomorphologic features of the frontal sinus in the assessment of sexual dimorphism. Methodology: A total of 100 paranasal radiographs were evaluated for sexual dimorphic features including number of scallops on the sinuses' superior border, unilateral/bilateral presence or absence of partial septa, number of partial septa, and unilateral/bilateral presence or absence of supraorbital cells. Results: Application of discriminative analysis to the data accurately identified the gender in merely 65.7% of cases. Conclusion: Therefore the radiomorphologic features of frontal sinus alone have limited value in gender determination and may be used as an auxiliary method.
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Age determination among different age groups using enamel-etching patterns: Scanning electron microscopy analysis
James D Raj, Sindhu Ramesh
January-June 2016, 1(1):21-24
Background: The determination of age and sex is among the important aspects of forensic anthropology and vital in medicolegal investigations. Enamel is the hardest known substance in the human body. As tooth matures, the surface layer of the enamel presents hypermineralization features, which could influence the features of the etching pattern. Aim: The purpose of the present study is to assess if the enamel surface can be used as a parameter to determine the age. Materials and Methods : Sixty freshly extracted teeth from individuals with known age group were collected and etching procedure was done, and then subjected to scanning electron microscope analysis. Statistical Analysis: Chi-square test was done  using SPSS software (Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), USA). Results and Conclusion: The predominant etching pattern seen in 20-30 year age group after acid etching for 15 s is Type I pattern (66%), while in 50-60 year age group, it is Type II pattern (61.6%). A significant difference was observed in the respective age groups among the type of etching pattern. This technique can be a very useful adjunct for age determination in the field of forensic odontology.
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Scope of forensic odontology
TN Uma Maheswari
January-June 2016, 1(1):1-1
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Experience of dental professionals in determination of gender by observing smile
Sourav Sen, Javeria Khan, Wajeeh Khan, Shravani Deolia, Rakashree Chakraborty Sen
January-June 2017, 2(1):18-21
Introduction: Every individual in his or her entire life has a photograph of smile. This makes identification as well as dead bodies and remains possible with the help of forensic odontology and medicine. Aims and Objective: The aim of this study was to use only smile from photograph for gender identification by various experienced dental specialist. Materials and Methods: In this cross-sectional study, a digital camera (Sony Cyber-shot DSC W800) was used to capture smile photographs, where participants were at a distance of 0.5 m from the lens and they were made to sit in a relax position with the Frankfort plane parallel to the floor. Among 50 captured photographs, 10 photographs were randomly selected, among which 5 males and 5 females, for pictorial questionnaire. Using Adobe Photoshop version 7.0, only teeth were made visible and other soft tissues were cropped so as not to make it a bias study. Results: All 5 dental colleges of Vidarbha region were included, in which 213 staff members participated in the study. Gender-wise distribution depicted 39.9% male and 60.10% female participants with no significance (P = 0.223). According to department-wise also was without any significance (P = 0.823). Now, according to designation wise, it was found that experience plays a vital role. Professor being the most experienced staff when compared with tutors (P = 0.03) and postgraduates (P = 0.015). Professors were most accurate in their opinions comparatively. Conclusion: This study concluded that identification of gender through only smile from photographs can be done with ease by professors due to their years of experience.
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Evaluation of accuracy of human bite marks on skin and an inanimate object: A forensic-based cross-sectional study
K Saraswathi Gopal, A Vani Anusha
January-June 2018, 3(1):2-5
Introduction: Bite marks are often observed at crime scenes on various parts of the human body. Bite marks have also been observed on various edible leftovers at the crime scenes which were used as evidence for identifying the criminals. Objective: The objective of the study is to compare the accuracy of bite marks on an inanimate substance (fruit) and a living tissue (skin) using digital analysis. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted involving 25 volunteers. The registered bites of individuals on inanimate object (fruit) and living tissue (skin of forearm) were photographed with the American Board of Forensic Odontology scale No. 2 in the view field immediately after the production of bite marks. Dental casts of the individuals were obtained and photographed out of which computer-assisted overlays were generated, and analysis was carried out digitally using Adobe Photoshop version developed by Adobe Systems. Statistical analysis was performed using IBM SPSS software, version 22 and Chi-square test. Results: Skin had a comparable accuracy to that of an inanimate object which is statistically attested. Conclusion: The source of bite marks, the substrate onto which they are generated and the technique of lifting the bite imprints serve as important tools in analysis.
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Dental neglect in pediatric patients among Indian population: A review of case reports
Dhivyalakshmi Manavazhagan, Nabeel Ahmed, TN Uma Maheswari
January-June 2016, 1(1):4-5
Knowingly or unknowingly children in the age group of 5-12 years of age are at a risk of various forms of child abuse, one among which is dental neglect. Dental neglect is one of the least recognized problems, yet it is a very serious problem. This review article is written with the aim to emphasize the role of dentists in reporting the child abuse cases and to counsel the parents/caretakers of the children regarding the seriousness of the issue.
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Tools for expert witnesses in dentistry: An overview
P Gayathri, N Thilagavathy, K Karthikeyan
July-December 2016, 1(2):44-47
The Inter disciplinary knowledge of forensic dentistry and the modern Day investigation plays a small but important role in enforcing justice in civil and criminal cases. Forensic odontologists are the expertise who help to identify the unrecognizable human remains following a mass disaster with the preserved structures of the oral environment. Thus this article describes the various aspects of forensic odontology in the current scenario.
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Forensic odontology: A historic review
Laliytha Bijai Kumar, Sivaraman Shivakumar
January-June 2016, 1(1):2-3
Forensic odontology has played a major role in identification of persons in crime scenes, mass disasters, fire victims, abuse, and accidents. The various methods employed in forensic odontology include rugoscopy, cheiloscopy, photographic study, radiographs, and molecular methods. Despite the shortcomings, methods applied in forensic odontology are quite reliable. This paper is a review on the historical highlights of forensic odontology.
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Teeth as a Source of DNA to identify mass disaster victims
Vagish Kumar L Shanbhag
January-June 2017, 2(1):43-44
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Trends in forensic odontology publications: 2000–2015
Christos K Papadopoulos, Angeliki Bouzala, Christos Stavrianos, Panagiota Stavrianou
January-June 2018, 3(1):12-16
Background: In recent years, forensic odontology is facing a wide recognition as a consequence of the crucial role the discipline has in many legal and criminal cases, and experts in the field are constantly in research of more accurate and advanced methods. Materials and Methods: The contents of the most-known peer-review forensic journals were searched to identify the publications in forensic odontology from 2000 to 2015. They were categorized according to the topic, type, and origin of the publication. Results: There is a significant increase in publications in the recent years which primarily focus on dental age assessment, bite mark analysis, and dental identification. Most of the publications were research papers, and the majority of research is conducted in a few selected countries. Conclusion: It is fundamental that further research is needed to strengthen the forensic odontology investigation outcomes and to establish the standard protocols and international communications.
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Forensic odontology acquaintance among the students of a dental institution in Mysore City, India
Sushma Rudraswamy, Nagabhushana Doggalli, BR Chandrashekar, Maurya Manjunath, HS Sreeshyla
January-June 2017, 2(1):13-17
Background: Forensic odontology utilizes the dentist's knowledge to serve the judicial system. It has itself as an important indispensable science in medicolegal matters and in particular in personal identification, gender determination, and age estimation. It plays an important role in mass disasters, child abuse, bioterrorism, etc. Taken together, forensic dentistry has become one of valuable tools worldwide to be used in identification processes. Objective: To evaluate the knowledge about forensic odontology among the students of a dental institution. Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted among final year, interns, and postgraduate students of JSS Dental College and Hospital, Mysuru. A self-administered, structured questionnaire written in English and validated through a pilot survey was given to all available and willing student participants. Questionnaire included significance of dental records, dental age estimation, identification of child abuse and individuals bite marks, as a witness in the court, lip prints along with the demographic data. Results: In the present study, 67% of the participants responded that DNA comparison was the most accurate method for person identification. About 27.3% responded tooth dimension and tooth morphology was the most accurate method of dental age estimation in elderly. Moreover, 89.1% reported their present knowledge level/awareness about forensic dentistry was not adequate. Conclusion: Forensic odontology must be introduced into the BDS curriculum effectively as a separate subject so that the students get well acquainted with the required knowledge for handling the medicolegal cases in their future practice.
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Postmortem identification in forensic odontology
Joshua Ng Chor Yang, James David Raj
January-June 2017, 2(1):27-29
Forensic odontology is that part of dentistry which deals with the identification of a deceased individual by carefully examining and studying dental evidence. Over the years, many methods have been developed to identify the identity of a person. By studying the teeth and oral cavity, a forensic dentist can determine the age, gender, race and quite possible the identity of the individual. The key component in forensic sciences is to identify and compare a particular trait which is unique to that individual. In forensic odontology, a few traits have been identified such as bitemarks, enamel rod patterns, lip patterns, and genetic information embedded within the hard tissue of the tooth.
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Dental tags
Saranya Dhanapal, Jayaprakash MJ Divyanand
January-June 2016, 1(1):6-8
Dental professions have a major role to play in keeping accurate dental records and providing all necessary information, so that legal authorities may recognize negligence, fraud or abuse and identify unknown human. Forensic organizations worldwide have recommended that dental prosthesis should be labelled with at least the patient's name and preferably with further unique identifiers such as serial number etc. Serial numbers can be suggested in the following dental prosthesis like Crowns, Dentures, and Implants.
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Morphologic and radiographic changes in teeth and restorations subjected to high temperatures
Shubhasini Raghavan, Praveen Birur, Shubha Gurudath, G Keerthi
July-December 2017, 2(2):62-66
Context: In fire accidents and cremation, fires may reach temperatures as high as 1150°C. In such circumstances, teeth and bones are the only remains which can help in personal identification, as teeth and restorations are unique to an individual. Aims: This study was conducted to assess morphological and radiographic appearances of teeth at various high temperatures. Settings and Design: This was an in vitro observational study; 160 extracted teeth were included in the study. The teeth were randomly classified into four groups of 40 teeth each. Teeth in Group 1 were retained without any restorations. A total of 60 teeth were endodontically sealed with zinc oxide eugenol sealer and restored with gutta-percha; coronal restorations were made with amalgam, light cure composite, or restorative glass ionomer cement. Radiographs of all teeth were obtained. Subjects and Methods: A burnout furnace was used for heating the teeth. Forty teeth each were heated to 200°C, 400°C, 600°C, and 800°C. The teeth and restorations were physically examined, and radiographs of all teeth were again obtained and correlated with the preincineration radiographs. Results: Teeth showed progressive discoloration from black to white, with the development of cracks and crowns shattered by 800°C. Restoration lost their marginal adaptation. On radiographs, initially, crowns developed fissures, followed by the roots. Conclusion: This study documented morphological and radiographic changes occuring in teeth when exposed to high temperatures.
  1,144 177 -
Comparative evaluation of vertical crown length of deciduous and permanent teeth as a predictor of an individual height by linear stepwise regression analysis
Ramanna Chandrappa, VV Kamath, N Srikanth, C Sharada
January-June 2017, 2(1):2-8
Background: Establishing the identity of an individual by analyzing the teeth has being a matter of interest in forensic odontology. Dental morphometrics is useful in establishing physical profile of the individual at various stages in forensic studies. Tooth dimensions of both deciduous and permanent teeth can be correlated to various aspects of the facial and physical characteristics of an individual. Aims and Objectives: The present study was undertaken to investigate the relationship between clinical crown length (CL) of erupted deciduous and permanent teeth and the height of child and adult, respectively. An association between these two parameters, if any, was evaluated to derive a numerical equation that would predict the individual's height from tooth dimensions. Materials and Methods: Sixty adults (30 males and 30 females) of age range 18–26 years and sixty children (30 males and 30 females) of age range 3–6 years were included in this study. Clinical CL of the permanent teeth (tooth numbers 11, 12, 13, 16, 17) and deciduous teeth (tooth numbers 51, 52, 53, 54, 55) was measured on the subject cast models using digital Vernier calipers. Using a standard measuring tape, individual height (H) was also measured. Ratios (CL/H) of permanent tooth CL to individual height and deciduous tooth CL to the child height were documented. Using linear stepwise forward regression analysis, the probability of CL of the study group teeth that would most likely predict physical height of the child and adult was determined. Results: Statistical analysis showed strong correlation between the two parameters among children and adults. In permanent dentition, tooth CL of #12 permanent upper right lateral incisor (among the combined group of males and females) was statistically significant in the prediction of the adult height. Mathematically derived equation for adult height prediction using #12 CL based on linear stepwise forward regression analysis (derived from combined data of male and female samples) is 941.286 + 82.146 (#12 CL); in deciduous dentition, (#55) upper right second molar among the males, (#52) upper right lateral incisor among females, and (#53) upper right canine among the combined male and female group were statistically significant and predicted the child height with minimal variations. Equations derived for male child height prediction (using data of male children) is 660.290 + 72.970 × (#55CL), for female child height prediction (using data of female children) is − 187.942 + 194.818 × (#52 CL), and for child height prediction using #53 CL (using combined data of male and female children) is 400.558 + 90.264 × (#53 CL). Conclusion: There exists a definitive relation between vertical CL of teeth and the height of an individual. This relation is more predictive with teeth numbers 12 in adults and 52, 53, 55 in children. This information is of immense value in identification profiling in forensics.
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Virtual autopsy
Jayanth Kumar Vadivel
January-June 2016, 1(1):14-16
Forensic odontology has been emerging as a major branch of the forensic science as an identification aid. Teeth by its resistant nature to degradative forces offer us an identification tool. Virtual autopsy is a virtual dissection of the human body through imaging to analyze the internal aspects of the body. This article speaks on the applications of virtual autopsy in forensic science.
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To assess the knowledge and attitude toward forensic odontology among dentists in Chennai city
N Navya, James D Raj
January-June 2016, 1(1):17-20
Aim: To assess the knowledge and attitude toward forensic odontology dentists in Chennai City. Objectives: To evaluate knowledge about forensic odontology among general dental practitioners. Materials and Methods: A study was conducted among 200 general dental practitioners. A questionnaire was distributed among them. Background: Forensic odontology includes the proper handling, examination, and evaluation of evidence related to dental findings which can be used for personal identification. It is dependent on the detailed knowledge of the teeth and jaws which is only possessed by a dentist. The survey was conducted with the aim to assess the awareness of forensic odontology in Chennai. Results: Many of the general dental practitioners had a basic knowledge about forensic odontology, but only 27% knew about Indian Association of Forensic Odontology. Sixty-nine percent of them were not confident about giving an opinion for a forensic case. Sixty-three percent of them knew about cheiloscopy. Many of them did not know the importance of identifying child abuse as a dentist. Sixty-nine percent of them said they would inform the parents if they identified a child abuse case. Nineteen percent of them did not maintain dental records and among the remaining only 30% maintained complete dental records. None of them had any formal training related to forensic odontology. Two percent of them only knew about the forensic courses available in India. Most of them felt that our country has very limited resources for forensic odontology. Conclusion: Forensic odontology has an important role in the recognition of person. Forensic odontology requires interdisciplinary knowledge of dental science. This survey shows that general dental practitioners in Chennai have inadequate knowledge and interest in forensic odontology.
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Prevalence of different subtypes of type II lip prints among students of saveetha dental college
Meenakshi Mohan, TN Uma Maheswari
January-June 2017, 2(1):9-12
Background: Cheiloscopy, the study of lip prints, is a forensic technique for personal identification. Uniqueness of lip prints such as fingerprints helps to detect the identity of an individual. Various studies about lip prints have been conducted. The present study was conducted to establish the prevalence of subtypes of Type II variety of lip print. Aim: The aim of the study is to find the prevalence and different types of Type II lip prints among 100 individuals from Saveetha Dental College. Objective: To assess the prevalence of Type II variety of lip print. To identify which subtype of Type II lip print is commonly seen. To find whether there is any significant difference in subtypes of Type II lip print between male and female and to evaluate the most common subtype of Type II lip print seen in each compartment of lips. Result: Type IIa is more common among both males and females, followed by Type IIb and then Type IIc . Conclusion: This study has defined the subvarieties of Type II lip prints that were not given by studies of Yasuo Tsuchihashi. Result: Type IIa is more common among both males and females, followed by Type IIb and then Type IIc . Conclusion: This study has defi ned the subvarieties of Type II lip prints that were not given by studies of Yasuo Tsuchihashi.
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