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J Forensic Dent Sci. 2018 May-Aug;10(2):75-78. doi: 10.4103/jfo.jfds_80_17.

Selfie identification app as a forensic tool for missing and unidentified persons.

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Forensic Odontologist, Dipartimento di Scienze Della Sanità Pubblica e Pediatriche, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.
Forensic Pathologist, Dipartimento di Scienze Della Sanità Pubblica e Pediatriche, University of Turin, Turin, Italy.


Social media applications can be valuable investigative tools in the search for missing and unidentified persons. As yet, no forensic App exists with the aim of assisting the human identification process, through the search of antemortem data to be used as adjunct data in the comparison with postmortem data collected. The aim of this article is to introduce a new application for Smartphones called "Selfie Forensic ID" App which will employ selfie and face photographs as an archive of dental data and dental features of the front teeth of missing persons sharing with Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter Social Networks (available for free download from both Android and Apple store at Features such as diastema rotated or wrongly positioned teeth, lip anomalies, recognizable fixed prosthetics, dental crown discolorations, dental or cutis piercing could represent strong identifiers in the comparison of AM and PM data. The increased number of terrorist attacks and natural disasters which result in the premature death of innocent people underlines the importance of storing personal identification data to avoid bodies remaining unidentified. The authors believe there will be an increased public willingness to share personal ID information through understanding of the ethical and administrative consequences to the families of deceased persons should bodies remain unidentified.


Dental autopsy; dental identification; forensic sciences; selfie photographs; social media; unidentified persons

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