The organization and rationale for the design of a computer-assisted postmortem identification system are discussed along with results of the use of this system in extensive simulation trials on a database of 578 records. The selectivity of dental characteristics is so great that any individual with 4 or more characteristics (either fillings or missing teeth), can be separated from a group of 578 people for final verification of the identity match. The effects of errors in the database are discussed and the actual effects of different error rates on identification are shown. Error rates of up to 30% have only small effects on the ability of the system to pick out correct identity matches. The system is presently implemented on a portable microcomputer, a representative desktop computer, and a large minicomputer. The present efforts include statistical analysis of an enlarged database and testing of a data acquisition system to allow the building of a large identification database (25 000 records) in a quick and economical manner.