New Delhi: The Defence Ministry has embarked
on a mammoth task of collecting and preserving dental records
of the nearly 15-lakh strong armed forces for identifying
casualties in combat.
"We are coming up with a Centrally monitored database
containing dental records of armed forces personnel. It will
be a digital record and a pilot project in this regard has
shown that it will be of great help to us," Director General
Dental Services (DGDS) Lieutenant General S B Sehajpal said.
The exercise to collect the dental records of men of the
armed forces would enable the defence establishment to
ascertain the identity of men who die in combat and whose
bodies are unidentifiable.
"We have many physical aspects like finger print, the DNA
and the iris that are unique to all individuals. But the human
teeth is the only such hard tissue in the body that can help
identify an individual even when the body is destroyed beyond
visual recognition, " Commandant Army Dental Centre Brigadier
V R Pawar told reporters at the inauguration of a modern
dental centre at the Army Research and Referral Hospital here.
This record will be collected as soon as any individual
joins the armed forces. The records will be organised now. All
important details of an individual`s teeth will be collected
and maintained, he said.
According to experts, dental identifications have always
played a key role during natural and man-made disasters along
with aviation mishaps.