Dental Tribune USA

Protocol for forensic dental data now same as for DNA and fingerprinting

By Dental Tribune America
February 27, 2014

NEW YORK, N.Y., USA: The Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), whose broad mission is to promote U.S. innovation and industrial competitiveness by advancing measurement science, standards and technology, recently added a dental data supplement to its existing standard, “Data Format for the Interchange of Fingerprint, Facial & Other Biometric Information.”

The forensic dental data supplement standardizes the transmission methodology of familial dental data, dental history data, tooth data, mouth data, radiological data, visual images and other dental biometric information. Such data can be critical to the investigation of missing persons as well as disaster recovery identification efforts for transportation accidents, terrorist attacks and other incidents where dental records are used in the identification process.

ANSI/NIST-ITL canvassees representing more than 60 organizations around the world approved the dental supplement as well as a new forensic voice analysis supplement.

“The dental supplement evolved out of the need to include forensic dental in disaster victim identification,” said Bradford Wing, biometric standards coordinator of NIST-ITL. “Communication protocols for dental data now match those for fingerprints and DNA.”

The ANSI/NIST-ITL Dental Working Group worked collaboratively with the American Dental Association (ADA) Standards Committee on Dental Informatics over a period of several years to produce a supplement that uses the ANSI/ADA Standard 1058 — Forensic Dental Data Set as the basis for interaction and interoperability among the various forensic dental repositories and systems deployed around the world. These include the FBI National Crime Information Center Dental Image Repository, the Department of Justice National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), INTERPOL FastID Disaster Victim Identification System, Plass Data software (used by many organizations around the world), WinID Dental Identification System (used in many U.S. disaster recovery operations) and the UVIS Dental Identification Module (UDIM) developed by the New York City Medical Examiner’s Office and also used by some municipalities.

Once implemented, the standard will enable these organizations to not only exchange data but also gather data directly from dental offices, even though each system uses unique encodings that are not mutually compatible.

The dental supplement also covers other items that can be useful for forensic work, such as patterned injury imagery (for example, bite marks), cheiloscopy (lip prints), CT and cone-beam scans, and more.

NIST coordinated the development of these supplements and manages the updates to the standard. For more information about the standard and the standards development process and for a copy of the standard itself, visit, or you can contact Bradford Wing at (301) 975 5663.

(Source: The Information Technology Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology)


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