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Forensic Odontology: Principles and Practice

Jane Taylor (Editor), Jules Kieser (Editor)
ISBN: 978-1-118-86444-9
496 pages
February 2016, Wiley-Blackwell
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Description

Forensic odontology refers to the science and practice of dentistry which may be applied to help solve litigation in both criminal and civil cases. It is a specialist branch of dentistry that assists the legal system in the handling, analysis and interpretation of dental evidence.

Forensic Odontology: Principles and Practice pulls together the very latest research findings and advice on best practice and essential skills, including aspects of forensic science that provide a well-rounded educational experience for the reader. Chapters provide coverage of anatomy and morphology, mortuary techniques, physical anthropology, applied forensic sciences, child and elder abuse, and facial approximation. The text introduces the various topics and discusses underpinning philosophies without being an exhaustive historical treatise. Appropriate case studies are used to highlight issues, and references to current research are provided to stimulate further reading and research.

Written by experienced practitioners in the field, this informative introductory text is invaluable to graduate and undergraduate students, as well as experienced dentists, wishing to gain experience or pursue a career in forensic odontology. This text will be a welcome addition to the forensic odontological libraries of all practicing forensic odontologists.

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Table of Contents

Contributors xiv

Dedications xvi

Preface xviii

1 Foundation knowledge in forensic odontology 1
Jules A. Kieser, Jane A. Taylor, Zaf Khouri and Maurice Churton

Introduction 1

A short history of forensic odontology 2

Forensic odontology in Australia 5

Forensic odontology in New Zealand 10

Working as an odontologist 19

References 20

2 Jurisprudence and forensic practice 23
David L. Ranson

Legal systems and the healthcare community 23

Types of law 28

The coronial system 32

The investigators within the coroner’s jurisdiction 38

Court procedures and the expert medical witness 41

Long‐term preparation 48

Medium‐term preparation 48

Short‐term preparation 49

Logistics of appearing as a witness 49

Refreshing memory 50

Revision of medical knowledge 51

Medico‐legal analysis 52

Pre‐trial conference 52

Entering the court 53

Conversations outside the court 53

Appearance and behaviour 54

Report writing 57

Reference 63

Recommended reading 63

3 Anatomy and morphology 64
Mark Leedham and Erin F. Hutchinson

Dental anatomy and morphology 64

Morphogenetic fields 65

Additional teeth 66

Hypodontia 70

Shape anomalies 72

Peg lateral incisors 72

General head and neck anatomy 73

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) 73

Infratemporal fossa 74

Pterygopalatine fossa 74

Mandibular nerve 75

Salivary glands 75

Oral cavity 76

Blood supply and lymphatic drainage of the orodental tissues 77

Osteology of the juvenile and adult craniofacial complex 77

Neurocranium 77

Frontal bone 80

Parietal bone 84

Occipital bone 86

Temporal bone 95

Sphenoid bone 103

Viscerocranium 110

Zygomatic bone 110

Lacrimal bone 113

Ethmoid bone 114

Inferior nasal concha 116

Vomer bone 117

Nasal bone 119

Maxilla 119

Palatine 125

Mandible 126

References 130

4 Forensic pathology 134
David L. Ranson and Norman Firth

The role of the forensic pathologist 134

The medico‐legal autopsy 135

Post‐mortem changes in the deceased 139

Decomposition 140

Radiological examination 140

External examination 141

Head 142

Trunk 143

Limbs 143

Internal examination 144

The face, head and neck 145

The thorax 151

The abdomen and pelvis 153

The genitalia 154

The limbs 154

Post‐autopsy procedures 154

Injuries 155

Classification of injuries 156

Injury interpretation 164

Injury and cause of death 165

References 166

Recommended reading 166

5 Human identification 167
Stephen Knott

Human identification 167

We have the right to our name when we die 167

Methods of identification 168

Human dentition 169

Teeth: the last tissue to disintegrate 169

Role of the primary identifiers 171

Visual 171

Fingerprints 171

DNA 172

Medical and anthropological 173

Ante‐mortem dental data 173

Dental records or dental data? 174

Dental prostheses 175

Oral implants 176

Orthodontics 176

Radiographic images: facial sinuses and anatomical features within the bone 176

Superimposition 178

Facial reconstruction 179

Standards for acceptance of identification 181

References 183

6 Mortuary techniques 185
Alain G. Middleton

The dental post‐mortem 185

What is the purpose of the dental post‐mortem? 185

Components of a dental post‐mortem 186

Location 186

Facilities 186

Equipment – basic requirements 186

Ventilation 186

Lighting 187

Examination table 187

Oral health and safety – personal protection 187

Head hair 187

Face 187

Hands 188

Body covering 188

Footwear 188

‘Tools of the trade’ 188

Photography 189

Capture device (camera and lens/es) and media 189

Producing and processing images 189

Organising images 190

Using images 190

Backup 190

Archiving 190

Depth of field 191

Fragments and single teeth 191

Radiographic equipment 192

CT scanning equipment 192

Teeth for DNA analysis 192

The ‘what and how’ 193

Organisation 193

Permissions 193

Examination and recording of the findings 195

The investigative examination 196

The identification examination 196

Detail 196

Written observations and charting 197

Recording of the findings 197

Stress 197

Legibility 197

Language 197

Errors 198

Abbreviations 198

Transcription 198

Charting 198

Clinical notes 198

Radiographic 199

Tissue thicknesses 199

Fragments and single teeth 199

Radiation safety 199

Photographic 199

Impressions 200

Age estimation 200

Condition of the remains 200

Complete body or a partial set of remains? 200

Incomplete and/or fragmented? 201

Are all the teeth and bone sections present? 201

Skeletal remains 201

Incinerated remains 201

Decomposed remains 202

Mummification 203

Immersion 203

Procedure – putting it all together 203

Initial examination 203

Photographic and radiographic examination 204

Access and reflection 204

Intact skulls and mandible 204

Fragmented skulls and mandible 205

Reflection technique 205

Floor of the mouth and tongue 205

Access the maxilla and the oral cavity 206

Resection 206

Bite mark and other pattern recording 206

Reporting recording of results 207

Reports 207

Summary 208

Reference 208

7 Age assessment 209
Richard Bassed, Jeremy Graham and Jane A. Taylor

Introduction 209

Some history of age assessment 211

A brief review of dental development 212

Developments in dental‐age assessment 214

Current age‐estimation methods 215

Australasian specific research in dental age estimation 217

Concluding remarks 221

References 224

8 Bite marks 228
Alex Forrest and Alistair Soon

Introduction 228

Describing bite marks 229

Bite marks are physical evidence 229

Class characteristics 230

Individual characteristics 230

Anatomical locations of bite marks 231

Types of bite marks 231

Not everything is a bite mark 234

Conclusions based on the description of the injury 234

The process of biting and how it relates to bite marks 235

The individuality of the dentition and its transfer to the bite mark 236

The individuality of the human dentition 236

Accuracy of transfer of dental features to bitten tissues 237

Imaging in bite mark cases 238

Avoiding distortions due to perspective 239

Avoiding distortions due to parallax 241

Photographic lighting 241

File format for image files 245

Using alternative light sources 245

Imaging the dental casts for comparison 245

A note on the use of the ABFO No 2 bite mark scale 248

Undertaking the case 249

Case selection 250

The clinical appointments 250

Bite mark analysis 257

Bite mark comparison 266

Presenting bite mark evidence in court 273

Sources of potential distortion and error in bite mark cases 275

Distortions due to tissue properties and movement of a bitten body part 275

Distortions due to evidence collection 276

Distortions due to poor imaging 276

Potentially controllable variables 277

Potentially uncontrollable variables 277

Limitations of bite mark analysis and reporting the outcomes of bite mark comparisons 277

Can we determine the age of the biter from the injury arch dimensions? 279

Can we visually age bite marks? 280

Swabbing for DNA 280

Materials required 281

Method 281

Conclusion 281

Future directions 282

References 283

9 Forensic odontology in disaster victim identification 286
Hugh G. Trengrove

Disasters and disaster planning 286

Disaster victim identification 287

DVI planning and organisation 288

DVI and forensic odontology 290

Forensic odontology DVI planning 291

DVI operations 296

DVI documentation 297

Health and safety during DVI operations 297

DVI phase 1: the Scene phase 298

The role of the forensic odontologist at the scene 299

Human remains at the scene 299

Recovery of remains 301

DVI phase 2: the Post‐mortem phase 310

Mortuary 311

Post‐mortem process 311

Personal property and effects documentation 314

Skin friction ridge analysis 314

Forensic pathology examination 314

Post‐mortem radiography 315

Post‐mortem DNA 316

Anthropology 316

Post‐mortem odontology examination 316

Radiology and photography 318

Teeth for DNA 319

Age assessment 320

Odontology quality review 320

Staffing in the mortuary 321

Equipment and PPE in the mortuary 321

DVI phase 3: the Ante‐mortem phase 323

Missing persons database (list) 323

Ante‐mortem data collection 323

Ante‐mortem skin friction ridge records 324

Ante‐mortem DNA 324

Ante‐mortem dental records 325

Ante‐mortem equipment 327

DVI phase 4: the Reconciliation phase 327

Skin friction ridge comparison (reconciliation) 328

DNA reconciliation 328

Odontology reconciliation 328

Detailed reconciliation 330

Formalisation of identification 331

DVI phase 5: the Debrief 331

Administrative arrangements and information management 332

DVI and the people 333

Forensic odontology team organisation 333

Responsibilities 333

References 335

10 Forensic anthropology 336
Denise Donlon, Russell Lain and Jane A. Taylor

The scope of forensic anthropology 336

Assessment of ancestry 336

Importance of assessment of ancestry 337

Approaches 337

Tooth size and non‐metric traits 338

Assessment of sex 339

Approaches 339

Sexual dimorphism in the dentition 342

Sexual dimorphism in juveniles 342

Assessment of age 343

Methods of ageing juvenile and young adults (<30 years) 343

Ageing of middle‐aged to older adults (>30 years) 343

Comparative anatomy 344

Historical remains 347

Conclusion 351

References 351

11 Applied forensic sciences 355
David C. Kieser, Terry Lyn Eberhardt, Gemma Dickson and J. Neil Waddell

Introduction 355

Crime scene protocols 356

Forensic entomology 358

Forensic microbial aquatic taphonomy 363

The use of energy‐dispersive spectroscopy in forensic investigations 369

References 375

12 Odontology opinions 377
Denice Higgins and Helen James

Introduction 377

General principles 377

Types of opinions 379

Identification of dental structures 379

Injuries sustained to the teeth or other oral structures 383

Injuries caused by teeth 386

Child abuse 390

Anatomical/morphometric comparisons 391

Age estimation 393

Tooth selection and sampling for DNA 394

Oral pathology 396

Dental malpractice 396

Report writing 399

References 400

13 Forensic odontology management 402
Helen James and Denice Higgins

Introduction 402

Administration 402

Education 414

Research 415

Conclusion 416

References 417

14 Application of postmortem computed tomography to forensic odontology 419
Richard Bassed and Eleanor Bott

Introduction 419

Computed tomography and medico‐legal death investigation 421

Application of PMCT to odontology 423

Computed tomography and Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) 428

Triage of multiple deceased in DVI 429

CT and dental identification in DVI 433

Logistics and infrastructure 434

Conclusion 435

References 435

Index 438

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Author Information

Editors

Jane A. Taylor Faculty of Health and Medicine, University of Newcastle, Australia

Jules A. Kieser (Deceased) Faculty of Dentistry, University of Otago, New Zealand
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