The effective accuracy of dental records in forensic dental identification in Sudan
In Sudan there are currently no programmes targeting dentists to improve their own knowledge about how they can be part of human identification by keeping good dental records. In addition, no guidelines are stated by the health authorities about making, keeping and retention of dental records. The aim of this research was to assess the accuracy of dental records drawn up by the general dentists in Sudan with regard to forensic dental identification and compare these records to an ideal dental record. Dental records of 180 patients obtained from six sites (major dental sectors) were reviewed and compared with an ideal dental record. The data was captured in Excel and statistically analyzed. The results showed that two third of the dentists do not undertake full tooth charting prior to treatment and sometimes this is not shown in their dental records; The dentist name who examined and treated the patient was clearly mentioned in 55.6% of the dental records examined. Dentists in Sudan do not request many radiographs but they depend mainly on intra oral periapical views (PV) and Orthopantomographs (OPG) with a fair to good quality. The medical history was recorded in 44% of the total number of records examined. The quality of dental records in this study was poor in general dental practices but was fair in governmental hospitals. An integrated education programmes to increase the awareness of the dentists in Sudan about accurate record keeping is recommended. Clear guide lines from the health authorities for dental recording system should be developed.