Contact Us Forensic Odontology Forensic odontology is the application of dental science to legal investigations, primarily involving the identification of the offender by comparing dental records to a bite mark left on the victim or at the scene, or identification of human remains based on dental records. Criminals have been known to leave bite mark impressions at the crime scene, whether it be in food, chewing gum or, more commonly, on the victim. When a bite mark is discovered, numerous steps should be taken. Once the mark has been sufficiently photographed, a saliva sample is taken from the area for potential DNA evidence.
|Country:||Antigua & Barbuda|
|Published (Last):||24 February 2006|
|PDF File Size:||12.55 Mb|
|ePub File Size:||17.82 Mb|
|Price:||Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]|
Contact Us Forensic Odontology Forensic odontology is the application of dental science to legal investigations, primarily involving the identification of the offender by comparing dental records to a bite mark left on the victim or at the scene, or identification of human remains based on dental records. Criminals have been known to leave bite mark impressions at the crime scene, whether it be in food, chewing gum or, more commonly, on the victim.
When a bite mark is discovered, numerous steps should be taken. Once the mark has been sufficiently photographed, a saliva sample is taken from the area for potential DNA evidence. Casts or moulds can then be made. If another bite impression is found elsewhere or if a teeth impression is taken from a suspect, a comparison can be made. Bite marks have been divided into seven classifications: Haemorrhage: A small bleeding spot. Abrasion: Undamaging mark on the skin.
Contusion: Ruptured blood vessels, bruising. Laceration: Punctured or torn skin. Incision: Neat puncture of the skin. Avulsion: Removal of the skin. Artefact: Bitten off piece of body. Bite marks may be found on the flesh of victims of a violent attack, particularly on the stomach, breasts or buttocks. Alternatively they may be found on the suspect, left by the victim during self-defence. The quality and accuracy of a bite mark are dependent on numerous factors, including time-dependent changes, where the bite mark was found, damage to soft tissue, dental similarity among individuals, and quality of photography, impressions or measurements.
If a bite mark is only represented as a bruise, it is often extremely difficult to detect any individual characteristics. In identifying human remains based in their teeth, dental records should ideally be obtained and compared to those of the unidentified body. If this is not possible, other clues in the teeth may be useful. Tooth eruption is linked to a certain extent with age, giving a possible rough estimation of the victim. These are often drawn on sheets of acetate, which can then be placed over one another for comparison.
If it is possible, a dental cast will be made of the bite mark for later comparison to a suspect sample. However the reliability of forensic odontology has been called into question on numerous occasions. The skin itself is not a good medium for dental impressions, often having a number of irregularities that will cause distortion. Bite marks can be altered through stretching, movement, or change in environment after the bite.
There is also no set standard by which to analyse and compare bite marks. Aside from criminal cases, forensic odontologists and dentists are greatly involved in the identification of victims of mass disasters.
Dental records in particular are beneficial in identifying such victims.
Current trends in forensic odontology
Sources Bite Marks In life or death situations, teeth are often used as a weapon. The teeth are part of our natural arsenal. There is no current agreement between odontologists about the uniqueness of the dentition or how the skin behaves while being bitten. This is caused when your canines force their way into your dental arch. This pattern can then be compared to either dental records or other bite marks. The degree of detail on the bitten surface varies from case to case.
How Forensic Dentistry Works
The case studies of Levon Brooks, Kennedy Brewer, and Keith Harward explore the role forensic sciences play in the criminal justice system. In all three cases, bite mark evidence that is awarded such assertiveness and credibility resulted in these three men wrongfully spending a total of over 65 years in prison. The Innocence Project showcases its work against wrongful convictions using DNA analysis and policy advocacy. On Jan. Potential witness Ashley Smith, sister of Courtney Smith, was five years old at the time of the incident and was sleeping in the same bed as Courtney on the night of September Innocence Project Attorney Vanessa Potkin later explains that the entire interview with Ashley was never provided to the jury. As a result of a five-year-old witness and forensic expert testimonies, Levon Brooks was given a life sentence for the murder of Courtney.