Glossary: Forensic odontology

Forensic odontology (also called Forensic Dentistry) deals with the proper handling, examination and evaluation of dental evidence, which will be then presented in the interest of justice. The evidence that may be derived from teeth, is the age (in children) and identification of the person to whom the teeth belong. This is done using dental records or ante-mortem (prior to death) photographs. The other type of evidence is that of bite marks, left on either the victim (by the attacker), the perpetrator (from the victim of an attack), or on an object found at the crime scene. Bite marks are often found on children who are abused. Forensic dentists are responsible for five main areas of practice: Indentification of found human remains Indentification in mass fatalities Assessment of bite mark injuries Assessment of cases of abuse (child, spousal, elder) Civil cases involving malpractice The American Society of Forensic Odontology is open to all with an interest in the subject and a comprehensive website contains many articles of interest. The American Board of Forensic Odontology is the certifying body for US odontologists.

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