International Journal of Legal Medicine

, Volume 121, Issue 6, pp 501–506

Dental superimposition: a pilot study for standardising the method

Technical Note

DOI: 10.1007/s00414-007-0198-y

Cite this article as:
De Angelis, D., Cattaneo, C. & Grandi, M. Int J Legal Med (2007) 121: 501. doi:10.1007/s00414-007-0198-y


Dental superimposition is becoming more and more important because of the increasing number of illegal immigrants (at least in Italy), with no clinical history, no personal effects or relatives useful for genetic comparison, whose friends and acquaintances can usually only produce photographs. Very few authors have been involved in devising and using this method. The goal of the present study is to establish whether it is possible, and under which conditions, to identify individuals by dental superimposition of teeth visible in an ante-mortem photograph and dental casts of an unidentified body, and to develop a protocol for the spatial orientation analysis of the dentition and qualitative and semi-quantitative analysis of superimpositions. A non-mathematical scoring system has been applied to each superimposition as a first step towards the optimisation of a cheap, quick, semi-quantitative method of identifying individuals when other more used methods are not applicable.


Forensic odontology Identification Dental superimposition 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LabAnOF, Laboratorio di Antropologia ed Odontologia Forense, Istituto di Medicina LegaleUniversità degli StudiMilanoItaly

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