Radiographs play an essential role in forensic dentistry to uncover the hidden facts that cannot be easily noticed by regular physical examination. Maxillofacial radiography by means of Orthopantamogram is used as a routine screening tool6 in the diagnosis and treatment planning in various fields of dentistry and is found to be less expensive when compared to other advanced imaging modalities like CT, MRI and CBCT. In a panoramic image, different shapes of the coronoid process, condyle and sigmoid notch can often be appreciated and thus this radiographic data when available as ante mortem records and correlated with the post-mortem records can thereby aid in the identification of a person either living or dead.
Aim of the study: To evaluate different morphological variations of the coronoid process, condyle and sigmoid notch, Using digital orthopantomograms for sex dimorphism and Variations between either sides of the individual.
Material and Methods: 100 digital orthopantomograms were collected retrospectively from the archives of Department of oral medicine and radiology. The different shapes of the coronoid process, sigmoid notch and condyle were traced in computer using windows 10 paint software for both right and left sides.
Results: Based on shape: Most common shape of condyle was Angled and Round. Most common shape of sigmoid notch was Sloping and Round. Most common shape of coronoid was triangular and Round Based on gender: There is no statistical significance between the shapes of condyle, sigmoid notch and coronoid process based on age.Based on variation on either side: Although they are minor variations on right and left sides of condyle, sigmoid notch and coronoid process, they are almost bilaterally symmetrical in morphology.
Conclusion: The results elucidated in our study suggest that various shapes of the coronoid process, condyle and sigmoid notch depicted by means of panoramic images can thus be used as a quite easier and quicker method for identification of an individual especially in cases of mass disasters, provided when the ante-mortem records are preserved.