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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 68-71

Coding of prosthesis in forensic dentistry: A simple innovative technique

1 Department of Prosthodontics, Sharad Pawar Dental College & Hospital, Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences (Deemed to be University), Sawangi (M), Wardha, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Sharad Pawar Dental College & Hospital, Datta Meghe Institute of Medical Sciences (Deemed to be University), Sawangi (M), Wardha, Maharashtra, India

Date of Submission26-Feb-2020
Date of Decision05-Mar-2020
Date of Acceptance10-Mar-2020
Date of Web Publication13-Oct-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Seema Sathe Kambala
Department of Prosthodontics, SPDC, DMIMS (DU), Sawangi (M), Wardha, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jdmimsu.jdmimsu_52_20

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Background: This article describes technique for coding of removable prosthesis by using rubber stamp and radiopaque marker. Material and Methods: This method involves scrapping off 1mm of polished surface of the denture. Self-cure acrylic resin in dough stage is placed in the space prepared and UID (Aadhar card number) indentations are made with rubber stamp over which barium sulphate is sprinkled and repacked with self-cure acrylic resin. Results: Finishing and polishing of denture is done and a lateral cephalogram is recorded. Lateral cephalogram shows radiopaque digitations revealing the identity of the patient. Conclusion: This method is of immense importance for identification of individuals when required for forensic investigations & in mass disaster.

Keywords: Complete denture, denture marker, forensic dentistry

How to cite this article:
Kambala SS, Jaiswal T, Borle AB, Kambala R, Godbole S, Revankar R. Coding of prosthesis in forensic dentistry: A simple innovative technique. J Datta Meghe Inst Med Sci Univ 2020;15:68-71

How to cite this URL:
Kambala SS, Jaiswal T, Borle AB, Kambala R, Godbole S, Revankar R. Coding of prosthesis in forensic dentistry: A simple innovative technique. J Datta Meghe Inst Med Sci Univ [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 Oct 28];15:68-71. Available from: http://www.journaldmims.com/text.asp?2020/15/1/68/297989

  Introduction Top

Denture recognition is essential for ailing patients or patients in geriatric associations.[1] Confusion or loss of prosthesis is usual, particularly during cleaning by the nursing staff. The loss is of greater consequence to the elderly patient who may have trouble in learning to control new prosthesis.[2] In extensive mishaps related to earthquakes, tidal bore, acts of terrorism and plane crashes forensic odontology have exhibited a paramount relevance in medicolegal investigations directed in identifying mortal remains. This is because teeth and dental prosthesis are not only extremely durable but also resistant to warmth and disagreeable variations.[1] Coding of denture is an old approach in dental prosthesis and judicial sciences, and its regular usage has been adopted by the forensic odontologists worldwide for several ages.[3] Several methods, which have been put forward in the literature, include surface coding using alloys, microchips, and barcodes. Many of these methods may be time-consuming, unesthetic, and do not permit the inclusion of an extensive amount of data or are exorbitant.

Coding can be described under the following two heads:[4],[5] surface-marking methods and inclusion methods, which include invisible ink method in which the patient's particulars are printed with invisible ink and are evident by the ultraviolet light. This method is beneficial for the patients-wearing dentures who complain to normally noticeable identification (ID) marks.The disadvantage is the mark is not easily perceptible, and special examination is required to conclude its existence.[6] Embossing method: in this technique, the patient's initials are marked with a bur onto the master cast, which leads to embossed letters on the intaglio surface of the denture. Disadvantage: This technique has shown a relation with the malignancy, perhaps, because of its constant mucosal irritation.[7] Engraving method: this technique consists of alphabets or numbers which are engraved with the help of a round bur on the intaglio surface of the denture. Disadvantage: food gets entrapped into the engraved grooves.[7] Onion-skin paper method: Jeffrey pronounced the usage of an onion-skin paper with a carbon indicator imprinting, which is smeared onto the denture base at the trial closure. The paper is later on peeled off from the denture after processing, which leaves a carbon imprinting of the code in the surface layer of the denture resin.[7] ID band: dentures are manifested with stainless steel metal band. Disadvantage: this can cause weakening of the denture at that area.[6] Heath's method: Heath introduced a technique where the identity mark was made with spirit-based pencil or pen and enclosed through a clear polymer liquefied in chloroform. Well ahead, Heath revised his own method with the application of dental sealants as an alternative for chloroform since it is well-known to be carcinogenic.[6] Wecker's electro pen method: Wecker demonstrated an electro pen to engrave the patient's particulars on metal removable as well as fixed partial dentures which have a sharp tip that revolves to scribe on metal.[6] Electronic microchips: The patient's information is etched on to a chip, which is then inserted in the denture. Disadvantage: the information can be inscribed only by the manufacturer, and moreover, it is costly.[2] Stevenson's method: this method consists of scalpel blade which was used to scribe an ID spot on the distobuccal flange of the denture which was then emphasized with a graphite pencil. Disadvantage: the spot did not remain for a long time.[5] Laser-etching technique: A copper vapor laser (CVL) is used to put patient's details into the metal surface of a partial denture. The CVL beam is concentrated and carried to the solid area by the two-axis scanner attached with mirrors. A CVL can not only mark the cobalt–chromium constituents of dentures effortlessly and legibly but also diminish the font size of the information.[5] Fiber-tip pen method: In this technique, patient's particulars are inscribed on the intaglio surface or the polished surface of the denture with the use of a fiber-tip pen. The patient's details are further protected by a minimum of two thin coatings of varnish to extend the life of coding. Disadvantage: this technique led to unesthetic denture.[6] Denture barcoding method: the bar code is placed onto the denture surface, and resin is coated to mask the pattern. Disadvantage: Including the bar code in the curled denture flange is comparatively burdensome due to the stiffness of the laminated strip.[4] Photograph method: this uses patient's photograph to be embedded in the denture. Disadvantage: cannot withstand temperature above 300°C.[8]

Therefore, after perusal of all facts, this innovative technique for coding was executed which include the incorporation of universal ID (UID) of the patient in removable prosthesis by using rubber stamp and barium sulfate as radiopaque marker.

  Materials and Methodology Top

The following materials were used in this study:

  • Rubber stamp
  • Barium sulfate powder
  • Acrylic resin.

This innovative technique for coding of the prosthesis was executed in the Department of Prosthodontics and Crown and Bridge, Sharad Pawar Dental College, Sawangi (M), Wardha, Maharashtra, India, in the following manner: After fabrication of the complete denture in heat cure acrylic, 1 mm of the buccal flange was scrapped taking care not to touch the borders [Figure 1]. 0.5 mm of prepared space was packed with self-cure acrylic resin packed at the dough stage. The UID number of patient is noted, and the stamp is then used to imprint digits on this self-cure resin [Figure 2]. After setting of self-cure acrylic resin, barium sulfate powder is sprinkled on the indentations created in the self-cure resin [Figure 3]. Once settling of powder is achieved, the final layer of self-cure resin is packed over the digits. The denture is then finished and polished as per the protocol [Figure 4]. Lateral cephalogram was recorded that shows radiopaque digitations revealing the identity of the patient [Figure 5].
Figure 1:Scraping of denture

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Figure 2:Stamped UID number of patients

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Figure 3:Barium sulfate powder on indentations

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Figure 4:Finished and polished denture

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Figure 5:Lateral cephalogram revealing universal identification

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Ethical clearance

Ethical clearance was obtained from the Institutional Ethical Committee of SPDC, Sawangi (Meghe), Wardha, on 8th Dec 2019. With ethical clearance no DMIMS(DU)/IEC/2019-20/402.

  Discussion Top

The frequency of edentulousness has not changed in the present scenarios. Edentulous persons represent nearly 2% of the population. The oral status of the population varies in different countries, and the wearing of complete dentures will be a fact for the near future. Hence, there is a need to address the issue of denture marking for social and legal problems. Recognition is a chief prerequisite for any forensic analysis because a false identity may create trouble in providing equity. Various specifications such as facial features, scars, tattoos, deformities, peculiarities, and personal belongings can assist in the ID of a person. When all these criteria fail to identify a body as in case of 100% burns or obnoxious changes or bodies removed from the water or in case of severely traumatized patients, in particular, the large causalities normally associated with aviation tragedy, dental recognition continues to be critical. The teeth and the jaw, which appear to withstand a great deal of trauma than the rest of the body, can solve this difficulty.[9] The ABFO guidelines indicate that most dental recognitions are based on restorative fillings, caries, missing teeth, and prosthesis.[6] Therefore, a removable prosthesis for coding was considered to carry out the present technique.

Various methods are available for the coding of prosthesis. There are some standard prerequisites for denture coding.[6] In terms of longevity engraving methods are better than surface methods, so by considering the requirements of denture coding, the present study was designed based on the engraving technique (Aadhar card number) in which indentations are made by using the rubber stamp, which is the most economic and easiest method apart from the other techniques.

The use of rubber stamp proves to be easier as compared to other engraving methods where bur is used to mark the dentures. It is also efficient than the other marking methods such as the heath or fiber tip or Stevenson method where there was a disadvantage of the marking being faded or being unesthetic. The advantage of this method is that unlike other methods of surface marking which either entraps food or the marking fades, this technique is esthetic and easy to use by the dentist. However, this method does require an X-ray to be shot for the ID of the patient.

  Conclusion Top

As with the progressing era, various means for forensic IDs are available with some of its pros and cons. As edentulous population are increasing, replacement with the complete denture and partial denture is a viable option. Forensic ID through dentures will be a good and helpful option. Hence, an attempt was made through this study to devise an innovative technique for denture marking that contains precise data of information by incorporating UID number, i.e., Aadhar card number of an individual, which will help in forensic ID in any massive disaster, as this technique makes the information available onsite.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Ichikawa T, Hayasaki Y, Fujita K, Nagao K, Murata M, Kawano T, et al. Femtosecond pulse laser-oriented recording on dental prostheses: A trial introduction. Dent Mater J 2006;25:733-6.  Back to cited text no. 1
Millet C, Jeannin C. Incorporation of microchips to facilitate denture identification by radio frequency tagging. J Prosthet Dent 2004;92:588-90.  Back to cited text no. 2
Alexander PM, Taylor JA, Szuster FS, Brown KA. An assessment of attitudes to, and extent of, the practice of denture marking in South Australia. Aust Dent J 1998;43:337-41.  Back to cited text no. 3
Mohan J, Kumar CD, Simon P. “Denture marking” as an aid to forensic identification. J Indian Prosthodont Soc 2012;12:131-6.  Back to cited text no. 4
Datta P, Sood S. The various methods and benefits of denture labeling. J Forensic Dent Sci 2010;2:53-8.  Back to cited text no. 5
[PUBMED]  [Full text]  
Kareker N, Aras M, Chitre V. A review on denture marking systems: A mark in forensic dentistry. J Indian Prosthodont Soc 2014; 14:4-13.  Back to cited text no. 6
MacEntee MI, Campbell T. Personal identification using dental prostheses. J Prosthet Dent 1979;41:377-80.  Back to cited text no. 7
Sathe S, Godbole S, Borle A, Dhamande M, Kambala R. An overview on forensic dentistry. Int J Curr Res 2018;10:6.  Back to cited text no. 8
El-Gohary M, Saad K, El-Sheikh M, Nasr T. A new denture labeling system as an Ante-mortem record for forensic identification. Mansoura J Forensic Med Clin Toxicol 2009;17:79-86.  Back to cited text no. 9


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5]


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