Banner Portal
Genetics and molecular biology: a literature review of forensic dentistry application


Forensic dentistry. Forensic anthropology. Molecular biology. Victim identification

How to Cite

Silva RF, Pereira SD da R, Daruge Júnior E, Barcelos R da SS, Godinho NM de O, Souto R. Genetics and molecular biology: a literature review of forensic dentistry application. Braz. J. Oral Sci. [Internet]. 2016 Jan. 20 [cited 2024 Mar. 5];6(20):1254-9. Available from:


Forensic expertise methodology normally used in different criminal investigation and forensic medicine field such as blood type, anthropologic analysis and forensic dentistry (dental records, X-rays, bite marks, among others) solved and will continue solving many crimes. Those methods will continue estimating age of several people. Nevertheless, since the development of genetics and molecular biology there were an increase in number and quality of solved cases. The present work points out the importance to associate certain forensic biology areas to traditional investigation methods in human identification, especially with forensic dentistry. It also shows that in some situations, teeth are an important source to genetic analysis and molecular studies. After a scientific literature review it was concluded that it is mandatory that those in forensic investigations acquire knowledge in forensic genetics in order to apply with traditional investigation techniques, this fact would produce an increase of information to Justice.


Ramos DIA, Daruge E, Daruge Júnior E, Antunes FCM, Melendez BVC, Francesquini Júnior L, et al. Transposición dental y sus implicaciones eticas y legais. Rev ADM. 2005; 62: 185-90.

Gonçalves ACS, Travassos DV, Silva M. Campo de atuação do odontolegista. RPG Rev Pos-Grad. 1999; 6: 60-5.

Figini ARL, Silva JRL, Jobim LF, Silva M. Tratado de perícias criminalísticas - identificação humana. 2.ed. Campinas: Millenium Editora; 2003.

Silva RF, Cruz BVM, Daruge Júnior E, Daruge E, Francesquini Júnior L. La importância de la documentación odontológica en la identificación humana. Acta Odontol Venez. 2005; 43: 67-74.

Jeffreys AJ, Wilson V, Thein SL. Hypervariable minisatellite regions in human DNA. Nature. 1985; 314: 67-73.

Alonso LG, Genofre GC. Genética molecular e odontologia forense. Rev Odontol Univ St Amaro. 1999; 4: 30-3.

Pena SDJ. Homo Brasilis - Aspectos genéticos, lingüísticos, históricos e sócio-antropológicos da formação do povo brasileiro. Ribeirão Preto: Editora Funpec; 2002.

Smith BC. Introduction to DNA analysis. Dent Clin North Am. 2001; 45: 229-35.

Jobim LF, Costa LRS, Silva M. Tratado de perícias criminalísticas - identificação humana. Campinas: Millenium Editora; 2006. volume II 10. Edwards A, Civitello A, Hammond HA, Caskey CT. DNA Typing and Genetic Mapping with Trimeric and Tetrameric Tandem Repeats. Am J Hum Genet. 1991; 49: 746-56.

Shriver MD, Mei R, Parra EJ, Sonpar V, Halder J, Tishkoff AS, et al. Large-scale SNP analysis reveals clustered and continuous patterns of human genetic variation. Hum Genomics. 2005; 2: 81-9.

Slavkin HC. Sex, enamel and forensic dentistry: a search for identity. J Am Dent Assoc. 1997; 128: 1021-5.

Santos MCLG, Line SRP. The epigenetics of enamel formation. Braz J Oral Sci. 2006; 17: 991-5.

Meyer E, Wiese M, Bruchhaus H, Claussen M, Klein A. Extraction and amplification of authentic DNA from ancient human remains. Forensic Sci Int. 2000; 113: 87-90.

Faerman M, Filon D, Kahila G, Greenblatt CL, Smith P, Oppenheim A. Sex identification of archaeological human remains based on amplification of the X and Y amelogenin alleles. Gene. 1995; 167: 327-32.

Liversidge HM, Lyons F, Hector MP. The accuracy of three methods of age estimation using radiographic measurements of developing teeth. Forensic Sci Int. 2003; 131: 22-9.

Mesotten K, Gunst K, Carbonez A, Willems G. J Forensic Odontostomatol. 2003; 21: 31-5.

Gustafson G. Dental identification. In: Forensic odontology. London: Staples Press; 1966.

Yamamoto K. Molecular biological studies on teeth, and inquests. Forensic Sci Int. 1996; 80: 79-87.

Othani S. Estimation of age from dentin by utilizing the racemization of aspartic acid: influence of pH. Forensic Sci Int. 1995; 75: 181-7.

Ohtani S. Yamada Y, Yamamoto I. Age estimation from racemization rate using heated teeth. J Forensic Odontostomatol. 1997; 15: 9-12.

Arany S, Ohtani S, Yoshioka N, Gonmori K. Age estimation from aspartic acid racemization of root dentin by internal standard method. Forensic Sci Int. 2004;141: 127-30.

Sajdok J, Pilin A, Pudil F, Zídková J, Kás J. A new method of age estimation based on the changes in human non-collagenous proteins from dentin. Forensic Sci Int. 2006; 156: 245-9.

Martín-de las Heras S, Valenzuela A, Overall CM. Gelatinase A in human dentin as a new biochemical marker for age estimation. J Forensic Sci. 2000; 45: 807-11.

Trevilatto PC, Line SRP. Use of buccal epithelial cells for PCR amplification of large DNA fragments. J Forensic Odontostomatol. 2000; 18: 6-9.

Iwamura ESM, Soares-Vieira JA, Muñoz DR. Human identification and analysis of DNA in bones. Rev Hosp Clin Fac Med Sao Paulo. 2004; 59: 383-8.

Andelinovic S, Sutlovic D, Ivkosic IE, Skaro V, Ivkosic A, Paic F, et al. Twelve-year experience in identification of skeletal remains from mass graves. Croat Med J. 2005; 46: 530-9.

Lleonart R, Riego E, Suárez RR, Ruiz RT, Fuente J. Analyses of DNA from ancient bones of a pre-columbian Cuban woman and a child. Genet Mol Biol. 1999; 22: 285-9.

Vernesi C, Benedetto G, Caramelli D, Secchieri E, Simoni L, Katti E, et al. Genetic characterization of the body attributed to the evangelist Luke. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2001; 98: 13460-3.

Melki JAD, Martin CCS, Simões AL. Procedimentos em exumações para investigação de vínculo genético em ossos. J Public Health. 2001; 35: 368-74.

Ogata M, Mattern R, Schneider PM, Schacker U, Kaufmann T, Rittner C. Quantitative and qualitative analysis of DNA extracted from postmortem muscle tissues. Z Rechtsmed. 1990; 103: 397-406.

Wurmb-Schwark N, Harbeck M, Wiesbrock U, Schroeder I, Ritz-Timme S, Oehmichen M. Extraction and amplification of nuclear and mitochondrial DNA from ancient and artificially aged bones. Leg Med. 2003; 5: S169-72.

Bender K, Farfán MJ, Schneider PM. Preparation of degraded human DNA under controlled conditions. Forensic Sci Int. 2004.139: 135-40.

Pretty IA, Sweet D. A look at forensic dentistry. Part 1: the role of teeth in the determination of human identity. Br Dent J. 2001; 190: 359-66.

Gaytmenn R, Sweet D. Quantification of forensic DNA from various regions of human teeth. J Forensic Sci. 2003; 48: 622-5.

Malaver PC, Yunis JJ. Different dental tissues as source of DNA for human identification in forensic cases. Croat Med J. 2003; 44: 306-9.

Pfeiffer H, Hühne J, Seitz B, Brinkmann B. Influence of soil storage and exposure period on DNA recovery from teeth. Int J Legal Med. 1999; 112: 142-4.

Lessig R, Edelmann J. Individualisation of dental tissue - an aid for odontological identification? J Forensic Odontostomatol. 1995; 13: 1-3.

Murakami H, Yamamoto Y, Yoshitome K, Ono T, Okamoto O, Shigeta Y, et al. Forensic study of sex determination using PCR on teeth samples. Acta Med Okayama. 2000; 54: 21-32.

Sweet D, Hildebrand D. Recovery of DNA from human teeth by cryogenic grinding. J Forensic Sci. 1998; 43: 1199-1202.

Trivedi R, Chattopadhyay P, Kashyap K. A new improved method for extraction of DNA from teeth for the analysis of hypervariavel loci. Am J Forensic Med Pathol. 2002; 23: 191-6.

Kemp BM, Smith DG. Use of bleach to eliminate contaminating DNA from the surface of bones and teeths. Forensic Sci Int. 2005; 154: 53-61.

Schulz MM, Reichert W. Archived or directly swabbed latent fingerprints as a DNA source for STR typing. Forensic Sci Int. 2002; 127: 128-30.

Goes ACS, Silva DA, Domingues CS, Sobrinho JM, Carvalho EF. Identification of a criminal by DNA typing in a rape case in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Sao Paulo Med J. 2002; 120: 77-80 45. Silva DA, Goes ACS, Carvalho JJ, Carvalho EF. DNA typing from vaginal smear slides in suspected rape cases. Sao Paulo Med J. 2004; 122: 70-2.

Silva RF, Pereira SDR, Daruge Júnior E, Daruge E, Francesquini Júnior L. A confiabilidade do exame odontolegal na identificação humana. ROBRAC. 2004; 35: 46-50.

Atsü SS, Gökdemir K, Kedici PS, Ikyaz YY. Bitemarks in forensic odontology. J Forensic Odontostomatol. 1998.16: 30-4.

McKenna CJ, Haron MI, Brown KA, Jones DAJ. Bitemarks in chocolate: a case report. J Forensic Odontostomatol. 2000; 18: 10-4.

Sweet D, Lorente M, Lorente JA, Valenzuela A, Villanueva E. An improved method to recover saliva from human skin: the double swab technique. J Forensic Sci. 1997; 42: 320-2.

Bowers CM. Forensic dental evidence – An investigator’s handbook. San Diego: Elsevier; 2004.

Borgula LM, Robinson FG, Rahimi M, Chew KE, Birchmeier KR, Owens SG, et al. Isolation and genotypic comparison of oral streptococci from experimental bitemarks. J Forensic Odontostomatol. 2003; 21: 23-30.

Bilge Y, Kedici PS, Alakoç YD, Ûlküer KÛ, Ilkyaz YY. The identification of a dismembered human body: a multidisciplinary approach. Forensic Sci Int. 2003.137: 141-6.

Sweet D, Hidelbrand D, Phillips D. Identification of a skeleton using DNA from teeth and PAP smear. J Forensic Sci. 1999; 44: 630-3.

Soares-Vieira JA, Billerbeck AEC, Iwamura ESM, Cardoso LA, Muñoz DR. Post-mortem forensic identity testing: application of PCR to the identification of fire victim. Sao Paulo Med J. 2000; 118: 75-7.

Sweet D, Sweet CHW. DNA analysis of dental pulp to link incinerated remains of homicide victim to crime scene. J Forensic Sci. 1995; 40: 310-4.

Yamada Y, Ohira H, Iwase H, Takatori T, Nagao M, Ohtani S. Sequencing mitochondrial DNA from a tooth and application to forensic odontology. J Forensic Odontostomatol. 1997; 15: 13-6.

The Brazilian Journal of Oral Sciences uses the Creative Commons license (CC), thus preserving the integrity of the articles in an open access environment.


Download data is not yet available.


Metrics Loading ...