Odontology: Dentistry and Bite Marks Essay examples

2625 Words Feb 15th, 2008 11 Pages
Forensic Odontology

In cases of mass disasters, fires, murders and many other scenarios the use of forensic Odontology is the key to identification. Without the mastery of forensic dentistry the investigation process and identification of victims and perpetrators would be nearly impossible. Forensic Odontology is the application of the arts and science of dentistry to the legal system. Included in the application of Odontology are the use of dentition, bite mark identification and the analysis of negligence. Before one can begin to greatly appreciate the use of this method, the knowledge of its history is of key importance. The earliest dated use of forensic dentistry is in the 1st century A.D. when wife of Roman Emperor
…show more content…
Part of the body identification process includes postmortem examination and recording. This process begins by accessing the dentition without removal, unless absolutely necessary. A threaded conical-shaped tool is used to open the jaw from the first two teeth since rigor mortis makes the process virtually impossible otherwise. This will break the rigor mortis. Other methods include cutting the facial muscles to open and release. Then, the dentition examination can begin. In some circumstances the jaws will be removed and examined by autopsy assistants. Incisions in the side of the mouth are made to remove the jaw. During the examination process dentists will record, verbally or written, concerning the presence or absence of teeth. These determinations take the dentists that much closer the determination of death (James and Nordby). Another process in identifying the body is the antemortem record examination. These records date before death and allow for the identification of medical or dental history. This will assist in the identification of a body compared to postmortem examinations. These records, however, are much more unpredictable. Other then family's records, these are found in military records and prison archives. The two records are then compared to find if the findings are consistent or different with both. This allows for the elimination,
Open Document