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      Forensic revolution need maintenance of dental records of patients by the dentists: A descriptive study

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          Abstract

          Objectives:

          With the growth of forensic odontology, dental records have become an essential source of information, especially for medicolegal cases in general practice. It is mandated by the law that every dentist must keep some kind of records for every patient they treat. After the death of an individual, remnants of teeth are usually damaged at the last among all body parts. Dental records assist in personal identification in cases of mass disasters, criminal investigations, and medicolegal issues. However, in India, rules for maintaining dental records are not very strictly followed. Thus, the aim of this study was to evaluate the knowledge regarding the maintenance of dental records among dentists in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.

          Materials and Methods:

          Data collection was performed via a questionnaire. The study population responded to the questions pertaining to knowledge regarding forensic odontology methods and the mode of maintaining dental records in their regular practice through a personal interview. A descriptive analysis was carried out for the data. The data were summarized and analyzed using the statistical software Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 18.0.

          Results:

          A very low percentage (22%) of the dentists were seen to be maintaining records on a regular basis. Seventy-eight percent of the dentists were not maintaining any records.

          Conclusion:

          This study clearly indicates that the dentists in Punjab and Uttar Pradesh need to be properly trained for any kind of forensic and medicolegal needs.

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          Most cited references12

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          Importance of Dental Records in Forensic Dental Identification

          Introduction: The patient’s record maintains all the diagnostic information with regards to patients and contains valuable information that can be beneficial to the dentist as well as legal authorities during forensic human identification. Aim: Objective of the study was to compare dental records with an ideal dental record form, as well as to compare between dental records of private clinics and academic hospitals and to assess the awareness and the knowledge of the dentists regarding the maintenance of their dental records accurate for medico-legal purposes. Material and Methods: A comparative cross-sectional study between records kept in private clinics and academic teaching hospitals in Khartoum locality. Results: Our results showed that Students are more likely to encounter accurate dental records more than dentists in private clinics. In conclusion Students are more aware regarding medicolegal purposes of maintenance of dental records. Accurate maintenance of dental records is more among dental students. Therefore, private clinics encounter dental records as financial documents.
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            Maintaining dental records: Are we ready for forensic needs?

            Context: Dental remains are usually the last to get destroyed among body parts after death. They may be useful for personal identification in cases of mass disasters and decomposed unidentified bodies. Dental records may help in the identification of suspects in criminal investigations and in medicolegal cases. Maintenance of dental records is legally mandatory in most of the European and American countries. Unfortunately, the law is not very clear in India, and the awareness is very poor. Aims: To assess the awareness regarding the dental record maintenance among dentists in Rajasthan, to deduce the quality of average dental records kept by them and to evaluate the potential use of their maintained records, in any of forensic or medicolegal cases. Settings and Design: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 100 dental practitioners of different cities in Rajasthan, India. Materials and Methods: Data were collected through a structured questionnaire, which was responded by the study population in the course of a telephonic interview. The questionnaire addressed on the mode of maintaining dental records in their regular practice. Statistical Analysis Used: The data so gathered were subjected for descriptive analysis. Results: As for knowledge or awareness about maintaining dental records, surprisingly a very low percentile (about 38%) of surveyed dentists maintained records. Sixty-two percent of the dentists were maintaining no records at all. Conclusion: Nonmaintenance or poor quality of records maintained indicates that the dentists in Rajasthan are not prepared for any kind of forensic and medicolegal need if it arises.
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              What's the deal with dental records for practicing dentists? Importance in general and forensic dentistry

              Dental records are essential for dentist and patient protection, and its maintenance is considered an ethical and legal obligation of the dentist: Ethical, because it satisfies the duty of care that the dentist has toward his patient and legal, as it is an investment for future protection against medico-legal complications. In addition to its legal and ethical role, the dental fraternity in India is slowly waking up to its importance in forensic dentistry. Dentists could play a vital role in assisting forensic investigators in providing information that would help in the identification of perpetrators or victims of crime and natural or manmade disaster situations. This information would be easily available and accessible through well-maintained patient records under dental care.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J Int Soc Prev Community Dent
                J Int Soc Prev Community Dent
                JISPCD
                Journal of International Society of Preventive & Community Dentistry
                Medknow Publications & Media Pvt Ltd (India )
                2231-0762
                2250-1002
                Jul-Aug 2016
                : 6
                : 4
                : 316-320
                Affiliations
                [1]Department of Public Health Dentistry, Teerthanker Mahaveer Dental College and Research Centre, Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh, India
                [1 ]Department of Public Health Dentistry, King George's Medical University, Faculty of Dental Sciences, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India
                [2 ]Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, DY Patil University, School of Dentistry, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
                [3 ]Department of Prosthodontics, Yashwantrao Chavan Dental College and Hospital, Ahmadnagar, Maharashtra, India
                [4 ]Department of Public Health Dentistry, Rama Dental College, Hospital and Research Center, Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, India
                Author notes
                Corresponding author (email: < a.anamika90@ 123456yahoo.in >) Dr. Anamika Gupta, Department of Public Health Dentistry, Teerthanker Mahaveer Dental College and Research Centre, Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh, India.
                Article
                JISPCD-6-316
                10.4103/2231-0762.186799
                4981933
                b0038928-d684-420b-ab88-6f2dbfd41bdc
                Copyright: © Journal of International Society of Preventive and Community Dentistry

                This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License, which allows others to remix, tweak, and build upon the work non-commercially, as long as the author is credited and the new creations are licensed under the identical terms.

                History
                : 14 May 2016
                : 09 June 2016
                : 25 July 2016
                Categories
                Original Article

                dental remnants,dentists,forensic odontology,medicolegal cases

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