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Minerva Medicolegale 2005 September;125(3):139-52

language: English

Contemporary forensic odontological practice. Part 2: Bitemarks and bite injuries

Pretty I.A.


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While the practice of human identification is well established, validated and proven to be accurate, the practice of bitemark analysis is less well accepted. The principle of identifying an injury as a bitemark is complex, and, depending on severity and anatomical location, highly subjective. Following the identification of an injury as a bitemark the comparison of the pattern produced to a suspect's dentition is even more contentious and an area of great debated within contemporary odontological practice. Advanced techniques using digital overlays have been suggested yet studies have shown that these can be inaccurate and there is no agreement as to the preferred method of comparison. However, the advent of DNA and its recovery from bitemarks has offered an objective method of bitemark analysis. Despite the strengths of DNA the physical comparison of suspect's dentitions to bitemark injuries is still common place. The issues within bitemark analysis are discussed an illustrated with case examples.

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