Synthesizing dental radiographs for human identification

S. Tohnak, A. J.H. Mehnert, M. Mahoney, S. Crozier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


The task of identifying human remains based on dental comparisons of post mortem (PM) and ante mortem (AM) radiographs is labor-intensive, subjective, and has several drawbacks, including: inherently poor image quality, difficulty matching the viewing angles in PM radiographs to those taken AM, and the fact that the state of the dental remains may entirely preclude the possibility of obtaining certain types of radiographs PM. The aim of the present study was to investigate the feasibility of using radiograph-like images reconstructed from PM x-ray computed tomography (CT) data to overcome the shortcomings of conventional radiographic comparison. Algorithms for computer synthesis of panoramic, periapical, and bitewing images are presented. The algorithms were evaluated with data from clinical examinations of two persons. The results demonstrate the efficacy of the CTbased approach and that, in comparison with conventional radiographs, the synthesized images exhibit minimal geometric distortion, reduced blurring, and reduced superimposition of oral structures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1057-1062
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Dental Research
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes


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