Definition • Forensic Odontology is the application of dental science to the administration of the law and the furtherance of justice. It provides an important community service in both the civil and criminal jurisdictions.
History • The earliest known identification from teeth is in 1775 by Paul Revere. • Paul Revere made a silver bridge for one man. The man was killed in the Revolutionary War. • Body was in mass grave and identified by his silver dental work.
Dental Apparatus • Teeth • Prosthetic appliance– bridges, partials, crown, false teeth • Shape, form (morphological) peculiarities
Forensic Dentistry/Odontology • This field is very important in identifying human remains that are decomposed, mutilated, or visually unrecognizable.
Uses of Forensic Odontology • The scope of forensic odontology is wide and includes the identification of victims of transport accidents, gunshot, and incineration in vehicles and house fires.
Identifying factors such as cavities, tooth pattern, and general dental health neglect
Bite marks • It also includes the examination of bite marks inflicted by humans and animals in a variety of circumstances.
Bite marks • Example of bruising left from bite mark. • Bites are common in violent crime and child abuse
Specific uses of odontology • Particularly significant are the bite marks frequently produced upon victims of child abuse. • Particularly significant are the bite marks frequently produced upon victims of child abuse.
High profile crimes • Ted Bundy was identified from a bite mark. • John Wilkes Booth was identified by a “gold plug” on the right side of his jaw.
Dental comparison • Dental records are useful in helping to identify unknown persons who have been the victim of fowl play or who have been simply reported missing.
DENTAL COMPARISON (Courtesy Dr. Richard R. Souviron, D.D.S., ABFO, Chief Forensic Odontologist, Dade County Medical Examiner Department, Miami, Florida) 3-15
FORENSIC DENTISTRY • Forensic dentistry is a specialty that relates dental evidence to investigation • Analyses of bit marks had played a major role in many cases • Teeth marks may be left in food, pencils or other items left at crime scenes • Bite marks can help eliminate or identify suspects 3-14
Dental identification • The forensic dentist compares antemortem (before death) records with postmortem (after death) findings to determine if there is a positive match.
Legal responsibilities • In order to obtain a dental impression the criminal/victim must provide consent. • Most will give the impression on just a verbal request. • Some require search warrants to be obtained. • Once request is granted then impressions are made and then cast in dental stone.
Bibliography • Criminal Investigation 9th ed. Swanson, Charmelin, Territo, and Taylor. • McGraw Hill power point presentations chapter 3.