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Indian J Dent. 2015 Apr-Jun;6(2):99-102. doi: 10.4103/0975-962X.155887.

Enamel hypoplasia and its role in identification of individuals: A review of literature.

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Department of Forensic Medicine, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University, Mangalore, India.
Department of Pedodontics, Manipal College of Dental Sciences, Manipal University, Mangalore, India.
Department of Anthropology, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India.
Department of Orthodontics, Dr. Harvansh Singh Judge Institute of Dental Sciences, Panjab University, Chandigarh, India.


Identification of individuals is the mainstay of any forensic investigation especially in cases of mass disasters when mutilated remains are brought for examination. Dental examination helps in establishing the identity of an individual and thus, has played a vital role in forensic investigation process since long. In this regard, description on the role of enamel hypoplasia is limited in the literature. The present article reviews the literature on the enamel hypoplasia and discusses its utility in forensic identification. Enamel hypoplasia is a surface defect of the tooth crown caused by disturbance of enamel matrix secretion. Enamel defects can be congenital or acquired. In cases of mass disasters, or when the body is completely charred, putrefied and mutilated beyond recognition, the unique dental features can help in identification of the victims.


Enamel hypoplasia; forensic odontology; mass disasters

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