Bite Mark Analysis

1596 WordsMay 22, 20117 Pages
Bite Mark Analysis 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 and its accuracy, 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.[1] This branch of forensics relies heavily on extensive and detailed knowledge of the teeth, jaws, and dental anatomy possessed by a dentist. In addition…show more content…
It also seems to be the case that skin gets distorted when bitten or the teeth slide during the act of biting.[8] Furthermore, the level of distortion tends to increase after the bite mark was made. A studies suggest that for the bite mark to be accurately analyzed, the body must be examined in exactly the same position it was in when the bite occurred which can be a difficult if not an impossible task to accomplish. In addition, bite mark analysis is also controversial because dental profiles are subject to change. The loss and/or chipping of teeth, or the alteration of arch configuration through a variety of procedures, such as the use of braces, is common in human populations. The onset of oral diseases such as dental caries has been shown to alter the arch and tooth configuration and must be taken into account when comparing a dental profile to the bite mark after a significant amount of time has passed since the mark was made.[9] All of these variables affect the validity of a bite mark analysis and trying to identify an biter through the uniqueness of his or her dentition. One particular case that highlighted the lack of uniqueness in bite marks involved two suspects accused of attacking a man that had sustained a bite mark injury. Two separate forensic dentists, one representing the prosecution and one the defense, were brought in to analyze the mark. They
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