Skip to main content
Toggle Menu of ADA WebSites
ADA Websites
Partnerships and Commissions
Toggle Search Area
Toggle Menu
e-mail Print Share

Forensic dental data supplement paves way for interoperability between dental offices, municipalities

December 20, 2013

Washington—As do fingerprints and DNA, dental data will now have a communication protocol as the basis for interaction and interoperability among the various forensic dental repositories and systems deployed internationally.

The Information Technology Laboratory enabled the communication protocol by way of the addition of a dental data supplement to the Data Format for the Interchange of Fingerprint, Facial & Other Biometric Information. ITL is part of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

The ADA Standards Committee on Dental Informatics worked with the American National Standards Institute/NIST-ITL Dental Working Group to produce the forensic dental data supplement, which is based on the ANSI/ADA Standard 1058 - Forensic Dental Data Set. The dental supplement also covers other items useful in forensic work, such as patterned injury imagery (bite marks, etc.), cheiloscopy (lip prints) and computed tomography and cone-beam scans.

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. These records are critical to missing-persons investigations, disaster recovery identification efforts for transportation accidents, terrorist attacks and other incidents where dental records are used in the identification process.

According to NIST, once implemented, the standard will allow organizations to not only exchange data between municipalities but also to gather data directly from dental offices, even though each system uses unique encodings that are not mutually compatible. Organizations that will use the standard and their systems include, for example, the FBI National Crime Information Center Dental Image Repository, the Department of Justice National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, INTERPOL FastID Disaster Victim Identification System, and the New York City Medical Examiner's Office, and other municipalities.

For more information about the standard and the standards development process and for a copy of the standard itself, please visit the website or contact Bradford Wing at 301.975.5663.