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Bite mark documentation and analysis: the forensic 3D/ CAD supported photogrammetry approach.

Bite mark identification is based on the individuality of a dentition, which is used to match a bite mark to a suspected perpetrator. This matching is based on a tooth-by-tooth and arch-to-arch comparison utilising parameters of size, shape and alignment. The most common method used to analyse bite mark are carried out in 2D space. That means that the 3D information is preserved only two dimensionally with distortions. This paper presents a new 3D documentation, analysis and visualisation approach based on forensic 3D/ CAD supported photogrammetry (FPHG) and the use of a 3D surface scanner. Our photogrammetric approach and the used visualisation method is, to the best to our knowledge, the first 3D approach for bite mark analysis in an actual case. The documentation has no distortion artifacts as can be found with standard photography. All the data are documented with a metric 3D measurement, orientation and subsequent analysis in 3D space. Beside the metrical analysis between bite mark and cast, it is possible using our method to utilise the topographical 3D feature of each individual tooth. This means that the 3D features of the biting surfaces and edges of each teeth are respected which is--as shown in our case--very important especially in the front teeth which have the first contact to the skin. Based upon the 3D detailed representation of the cast with the 3D topographic characteristics of the teeth, the interaction with the 3D documented skin can be visualised and analysed on the computer screen.[1]


  1. Bite mark documentation and analysis: the forensic 3D/CAD supported photogrammetry approach. Thali, M.J., Braun, M., Markwalder, T.H., Brueschweiler, W., Zollinger, U., Malik, N.J., Yen, K., Dirnhofer, R. Forensic Sci. Int. (2003) [Pubmed]
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