Essay on Forensic Odontology (Simplified)

1155 Words Dec 23rd, 2007 5 Pages
Forensic science is most simply defined as the science that is applied to the law. Criminal cases many times call for the examination of evidence that can tie a suspect or victim to a crime scene or to one another. These physical traces frequently include blood and other bodily fluids, hair, fibers, and even bite marks. Here we will focus our attention to the latter, as it applies to the field of forensic science referred to forensic odontology or forensic dentistry. Forensic odontology is the field of forensic science dealing with the recognition of unique attributes present in each individual's dental composition. This branch of forensics relies heavily on extensive and detailed knowledge of the teeth, jaws, and dental anatomy …show more content…
Descriptive documentation of the injury including size, location on the body, and the extent of the injury are recorded. If it is necessary molds, impressions, and casts of bite marks are taken. If there is a suspect, the forensic odontologist takes impressions, x-rays, and bite samples for comparison with the bite mark. Physical forensic comparison is completed and biological comparisons are then done using the saliva samples and DNA from the suspect. Dental identification of deceased individuals is the most prominent role of the forensic odontologist. It is done to identify victims who cannot be identified by other means. Mass fatalities are prime examples of when dental identification is needed to determine the identity of victims. There are three main types of dental identification including comparative dental identification, postmortem dental profiling, and dental DNA identification. Comparative dental identification is used to establish that the remains of the deceased are concurrent with the antemortem (before death) dental records of that individual. The more dental or restorative work an individual has done, the easier it is to confirm his/her identity. Each individual tooth must be examined for the postmortem record and radiographs/x-rays must be taken from the same angles as the antemortem records to compare. Similarities and inconsistencies are noted between the postmortem and antemortem

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