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J Forensic Dent Sci. 2019 Jan-Apr;11(1):42-47. doi: 10.4103/jfo.jfds_73_19.

Qualitative assessment of the dental groove pattern and its uniqueness for forensic identification.

Author information

Laboratory of Forensic Odontology, Institute of Forensic Science, Gujarat Forensic Sciences University, Gandhinagar, Gujarat, India.



Teeth are invaluable in both the living and the deceased for forensic identification and profiling purposes. The occlusal surface patterns in the molars of an individual depend on both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. The individualistic nature of the groove pattern can be used to determine the identity of an individual by the process of comparative identification.

Aim and Objective:

The objective of this study is to determine the uniqueness of the groove pattern among individuals by the means of digital analysis.

Materials and Methods:

An experimental study was conducted on 80 dental casts where the occlusal groove patterns of 1st and 2nd molars from each cast were traced digitally using image analysis software GIMP (v 2.10.6). The traced patterns were then examined to determine their uniqueness.


The most common groove patterns for the maxillary 1st and 2nd molars were found to resemble "Branched H" and "H", respectively. "Y" pattern was observed to be the most common in mandibular 1st molar, whereas mandibular 2nd molar most commonly exhibited "+" pattern. No two groove patterns were similar in the analysis.


Digital method of analysis is preferable over conventional manual methods as it is noninvasive and precise. The individualistic nature of occlusal groove patterns may play an important role in comparative forensic identification.


Antimere; digital analysis; groove pattern; identification; molars; uniqueness

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