Your Teeth Are Distinctively Yours.

November 2016

You see it all the time in movies and possibly even on TV. People’s identities being discovered through finger prints. But did you know that your teeth alone are just as unique as a finger print. They are uniquely yours. This is why dental records are at times used to discover the identities of human remains. Fun Fact: Even identical twins do not have duplicate teeth. Bonus fact: Your tongue also has a unique “tongue print.”

It is important to know that fingerprints and DNA are sometimes not as helpful as pearly whites in figuring out someone’s identity. This is because there is not a database with every person’s finger prints and DNA. Only some people are in that database. But there is a database that holds all of your health and dental history which can be very helpful when police are trying to identify a body.

Another great example of how teeth are helpful are in the case of a fire, many times fire victims are often identified by their teeth. This is because the teeth can withstand extreme temperatures and heat. It may cause them to shrink or be delicate but they can still help identify the person’s identity.

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X-rays are used to help identify a person who may have had fillings, crowns or other dental work. A crown would be destroyed in a fire but it can help identify a person in an accident. They can also retrieve DNA from the center of the tooth. The pulp can be damaged by fire, but can last in other forms for hundreds of years.

Proof of Identity through Dental records is often the last resort, and it isn’t possible every time– some individuals simply can’t be identified. But it’s nice to know that the ability is available to those who have received dental care from a dental professional.

Sources: http://science.howstuffworks.com/forensic-dentistry2.htm