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Minerva Medicolegale 2005 June;125(2):61-74

Copyright © 2005 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Contemporary forensic odontological practice. Part 1: human identification

Pretty I. A.


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For the typical forensic dentist the identification of found human remains will comprise the majority of their case work. However, there is rarely a typical dental identification. The resilience of teeth and their supporting tissues to peri and post mortem assaults provides a wealth of information for those interested in the identity of the deceased. Chemical attack, burning, burial, submersion, and even severe head and neck trauma are all withstood by the dentition to an extent where identification is possible. The lack of a tentative identification or failure to locate dental or similar ante mortem records is a more common reason for an odontogical investigation to fail. The purpose of this review is to describe the techniques employed by odontologists to identify human remains and also to provide details of some of the novel developments within this area.

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