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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 2-6

Virtual autopsy: An imaging technological integration in forensic odontology

1 Department of Forensic Odontology, JSS Dental College and Hospital, JSS AHER, Mysore, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, JSS Dental College and Hospital, JSS AHER, Mysore, Karnataka, India
3 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Thai Moogambigai Dental College and Hospital, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
4 Department of Community Medicine, Sri Lakshmi Narayana Institute of Medical Sciences, Puducherry, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. A Vidhya
Department of Forensic Odontology, JSS Dental College and Hospital, JSS AHER, Mysore, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijfo.ijfo_5_19

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With the advent of new technologies being integrated into varied aspects of dental care through visual, photographic, and radiological evidences in clinical diagnostics, these aspects are yet to be involved in forensic sciences. This is despite the availability of the technological advances in today's clinical settings. This review discusses the feasibility of integration of virtual autopsy in forensic odontology practice in an Indian setting. Using high-tech radiological approaches, virtual autopsy provides an efficient and more accurate view on cases such as thanatological investigations, carbonized and putrefied body identifications, mass disaster cases, age estimation, anthropological examinations, and skin lesion analyses. In certain cases, the postmortem photographic and radiological examination becomes essential as the access to the oral cavity is hindered. These become feasible with the advent of availability of antemortem radiological digital formats stored in hospital settings, with the improved collection of data compared to the traditional techniques. However, we do not have any state and national level protocols and laboratories to augment the capabilities further. Virtual autopsy is likely to replace conventional autopsies in the future. Thus the century-old investigation system in our country can be upgraded by the utilization of this Modern Technology. This review advocates a multidisciplinary research and advocacy to develop improved tools and protocols for virtual autopsy and to stress the role of forensic odontologists in an Indian setting.

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