Forensic Dentistry

Dr. D – Certified Forensic Physician CFP

Diplomate American Academy

Forensic Dentistry is widely used for human identification purposes. The two most important and common in forensic dentistry are:

• Identification and age estimation through Dental radiographs (X-rays)
• Bite Marks injuries and assessment of abuse cases by (impression molds study models)

Dental Radiographs X-Rays

Human teeth remain unchanged through time unlike other human body parts. In case of severe burns or aviation disasters, and when we are unable to collect DNA sample (body fluids, skin, soft tissue), Dental radiographs come in very handy. Using portable X-ray units, digital sensors, taking full mouth x-rays, and by contacting local dentists to send this FMX would help identify the victims by finding a match based on matching missing teeth and restorations (crowns, fillings, bridges implants and impacted wisdom teeth).

Bite Mark Injuries

Impressions of dentition for the upper and lower arches will be taken from all suspects involved in child, spouse or elder abuse cases for identification purposes.

• Alginate is the most common impression material used.

• PVS (Polyvinylsiloxane) is another common impression material.

After taking impressions, stone will be poured to have the model ready which will represent the victim’s mouth and the occlusion, and by having special clay with similar flexibility and textures of the human skin. We will apply pressure on it to form the bite mark and compare it with the photos that we have from the victim’s body. Patient with one missing tooth or multiple missing teeth won’t have the same marks.

In cases like this where the victim is wearing a removable upper partial to replace the missing front teeth, we need to take impressions with and without the partial in the mouth.

Same young patient in both pictures; one with dentures and one without. 

All photos are the courtesy of Forensic dentist expert of Dr. Mehran Daoudian (Dr D)



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