Essay: Cheiloscopy for sex determination

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ABSTRACT:
INTRODUCTION: Dentistry has much to offer law enforcement in the detection and solution of crime or in civil proceedings. Forensic dental fieldwork requires an interdisciplinary knowledge of dental science. The wrinkles and grooves on the labial mucosa (sulci labiorum) form a characteristic pattern called ‘lip prints’. The importance of cheiloscopy is linked to the fact that lip prints are unique to one person, except in monozygotic twins. Like fingerprints and palatal rugae, lip grooves are permanent and unchangeable.
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the reliability and accuracy of cheiloscopy for sex determination.
METHODOLOGY: Study was conducted on 100 subjects, (50 males and 50 females) with an age range of 20 to 36 years. The method was applied on each subject and the data was collected. After obtaining the data it was coded, analysed, decoded, interpreted and statistically analysed.
RESULTS: Cheiloscopy showed the accuracy of 70% (sensitivity 64% and specificity 76%), CONCLUSION: Dentistry has an important role to play in the identification of the victims of homicides, accidents or mass disasters. The uniqueness of the dental tissue can give an impetus to a forensic investigation lacking any other significant evidence. From this study we can conclude that cheiloscopy has the accuracy (70%). Hence Cheiloscopy is one of the reliable parameter which has an important role in forensic odontology for sex determination.
KEYWORDS: Forensic Science, Cheiloscopy, lip prints, sex determination, Human identification, Personal identification
INTRODUCTION
Dentistry has much to offer law enforcement in the detection and solution of crime or in civil proceedings. Forensic dental fieldwork requires an interdisciplinary knowledge of dental science. Forensic odontology has been defined by ‘Keiser ‘ Nielsen’ as that branch of forensic sciences which in the interest of justice deals with the proper handling and examination of the dental evidence and with the proper evaluation and presentation of the dental findings.9 Most often the role of the forensic odontologist is to establish a person’s identity. As we enter a new era, society is faced with fresh challenges in every conceivable area. Violent and heinous activities that shatter the lives of victims, their friends and families occur every day.13 The professional obligation of dental surgeon to mankind is not only to serve in examination, investigation, diagnosis and treatment of oral and orofacial lesions of local origin, and oral manifestations of systemic disease, but also to serve in other community services and legal matters as well.11 Traditional methods of personal identification includes anthropometry, dactyloscopy, DNA finger typing, sex determination, estimation of age, measurement of height, post- mortem reports and differentiation of blood groups. These methods have been proved to be successful in many cases2-5. Cheiloscopy, (from the Greek words cheilos – lips, eskopein – see) is the name given to the lip print studies.2 The wrinkles and grooves on the labial mucosa (sulci labiorum) form a characteristic pattern called ‘lip prints’.3 The importance of cheiloscopy is linked to the fact that lip prints are unique to one person, except in monozygotic twins. Like fingerprints and palatal rugae, lip grooves are permanent and unchangeable.5 However, it was only in 1930, that Diou de Lille developed some studies which led to lip print use in criminology. In 1932, Edmond Locard, one of France’s greatest criminologists, acknowledged the importance of cheiloscopy.4 The present study was conducted to evaluate the reliability and accuracy of Chieloscopy for the sex determination.

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