Figure 10-12. - Positioning dental fragment on X-ray film for exposure.
planning is required to prevent confusion in the flow and tracking of the remains as they are processed.
The dental radiology section's job is to get, as nearly as possible, a full mouth series of periapical radiographs. On occasion, the forensic dentist may request occlusal and lateral jaw films. The proper technique to use is to expose of the films in the proper anatomical orientation to prevent overlap, shorting, or elongation of exposed dental films. This is necessary because the postmortem films will be compared with the antemortem films that were exposed on a live patient using appropriate anatomical placement and angulation. Always expose a full mouth series using duplicate film packets even if areas appear edentulous or teeth are missing, fractured, or avulsed. Shoot different films at several angles and take care to expose all fragments in their proper anatomical orientation. It may not always be easy to take X-rays of teeth because postmortem dental remains may be fractured. The following supplies may be needed to assist you in exposing radiographs: hemostats, gauze, clay, and rope wax.
Any X-ray developer can be used to process radiographs. The use of a daytime loader is recommended to speed up the process. When multiple remains are being processed at the same time, the following procedures are normally prescribed.
The entire series of postmortem radiographs is exposed before any has been developed.
The series is placed into a labeled carrying container for transport to the developing area.
Each series is developed at a single developing site or machine. Films from one series are never separated from one another for developing.
In forensic dental operations, it is not important which method is used for mounting periapical and bitewing X-rays, as long as the method selected is uniform. The raised dot on the film can be facing in or out. All postmortem radiographs should be mounted in the same manner so there will be no confusion by the examiners as to which side is which. The policy should be well publicized so that everyone working in the dental ID section, not just those in the dental radiology subsection, are aware of the standard.
FILM ACCOUNTABILITY. - One primary area of concern is the ability to determine, at any pointContinue Reading