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J Oral Maxillofac Pathol. 2019 Jan-Apr;23(1):165. doi: 10.4103/jomfp.JOMFP_208_18.

Analysis of enamel rod end pattern for personal identification.

Author information

Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Azeezia College of Dental Sciences and Research, Kollam, Kerala, India.
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Pushpagiri College of Dental Sciences, Tiruvalla, Kerala, India.



Microscopically, groups of enamel rods run in unique direction, which differ from adjacent group of enamel rods and results in forming different patterns of enamel rod endings on tooth surface. These are called as tooth prints and they help in personal identification in forensic odontology.

Aims and Objectives:

The aim of the present study is to analyze the enamel rod end pattern on the tooth surface for personal identification and to analyze the familial inheritance of enamel rod end pattern.

Materials and Methods:

In the present study, 100 different families were considered for the analysis of tooth print pattern. In each family, four members were present. The maxillary central incisor, canine and first premolar were selected. Enamel rod end pattern was recorded using acetate peel technique and analyzed using Verifinger® standard SDK version 6.7 software.

Statistical Analysis:

Data analysis was performed using the SPSS software. Contingency coefficient statistical analysis was used for the comparison of tooth print pattern in incisors, canines and premolars based on age and gender. P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.


The present study showed that a tooth print is composed of combination of eight distinct subpatterns, namely wavy branched, wavy unbranched, linear branched, linear unbranched, whorl open, whorl closed, loop and stem-like pattern. Wavy branched pattern was found to be the most predominant pattern in incisors, canines and first premolars in our study. Familial tendency of tooth print pattern in incisors, canines and premolars was noticed in 65%, 66% and 52% of the families, respectively.


Tooth prints are unique to an individual and can be used as a valuable inexpensive tool in forensic odontology for personal identification.


Enamel rod end; peel technique; tooth prints

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