Forensic odontology is a specialized field of dentistry that applies dental evidence to criminal and civil law. It is used to identify victims of sexual abuse, identify deceased individuals, especially in cases of mass disasters or when facial recognition is inconclusive, and determine the age of unidentified victims. Forensic odontology requires knowledge of a number of disciplines, since the dental records obtained can identify a person or provide the information needed by the authorities to establish the identification of the case.Forensic dentists help investigative agencies identify recovered human remains, in addition to identifying whole or fragmented bodies. They also use their investigative techniques to identify burn victims using the victims' previous dental records.
Forensic dentists may also be asked to help determine the age, race, occupation, previous dental history, and socioeconomic status of unidentified human beings. The forensic artist uses antemortem photography of the dental profile to aid in facial reconstruction.Organizations such as the Office of Legal Dentistry (BOLD), the American Board of Forensic Dentistry (ABFO), the American Society of Forensic Dentistry (ASFO), the International Organization of Forensic Dentistry (IOFOS), and the Forensic Dentistry Association for Human Rights (AFOHR) are dedicated to advancing this field. In Canada, there are three well-developed and qualified groups for forensic dentistry, although the Royal College of Dentists has not recognized forensic dentistry. Universities have offered some participation to students of forensic sciences during clinical dental specialty projects, however, they will not credibly graduate from the discipline of forensic dentistry.
The National University of Forensic Sciences is the only university in the world dedicated to this field.Richmond Dental and Medical provides durable products that forensic dentists need to identify victims and bring them home. In 1996, BOLD was created at the University of British Columbia to develop new technologies and techniques in forensic odontology. There have been several cases in which forensic dentists have made statements, accusations and guarantees backed by the evaluation of bite marks, which, according to other forensic sciences, have proven to be incorrect.Forensic odontology is an important and indispensable service in medico-legal matters for creating justice and securing society for future inhabitants. Ontario has a team of ten forensic dentists called the Dental Identification Team of the Province of Ontario (PODIT) that uses multiple dental impressions in a line to reduce bias in matching bite marks with the teeth of a suspect.Forensic odontology is an invaluable tool for solving crimes and bringing justice to victims.
It is an ever-evolving field that requires dedication and expertise from its practitioners.