Forensic odontology, or forensic dentistry as it is also known, encompasses a sub-specialty of dentistry that deals specifically with the relationship between dentistry and the law. This dynamic field of dentistry is one of the most interesting yet poorly understood of all the areas of the profession of dentistry. This series, divided into two separate independent courses, will provide an introduction to forensic odontology. Course content will be supplemented with actual forensic cases, where appropriate, to help participants understand the complexities and techniques utilized in its practice.

Forensic odontology is divided into six sections:

  • Dental identification of unknown human remains
  • Disaster Victim Identification of human remains (also known as mass disaster identification or mass fatality incidents)
  • Dental legal issues in the practice of dentistry, including both personal injury matters involving dentistry as well as standard of care (dental malpractice) issues
  • Bitemark evidence in violent crime
  • Human abuse issues seen the dental practice environment
  • Dental age assessment

Each of these sections will be presented with the general practice guidelines employed in their use. It is not the intention of these two courses to bring course participants into the realm of forensic dental expertise. These courses serve only as an introduction to forensic dentistry.

There are other outstanding post-graduate courses on forensic odontology that are presented regionally throughout the United States each calendar year providing ample additional learning opportunities. Most of these courses are either one or two-day courses, or in some instances, week-long courses. Online searches on forensic odontology will provide the dates and locations of these courses.

Additionally, there are a number of outstanding textbooks available on forensic odontology. Simple internet searches will provide the most recent publications including textbooks on specific forensic odontology subject matters such as bitemark evidence.