Forensic Dental Evidence

Forensic Dental Evidence

An Investigator's Handbook

2nd Edition - August 27, 2010
This is the Latest Edition
  • Editor: Michael Bowers
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123820013
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780123820006

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Forensic Dental Evidence: An Investigators Handbook highlights the discussion regarding unjust convictions caused by inaccurate bitemark opinions. The book focuses on cases that use forensic techniques, emphasizing modern methods and protocols. Through this book, the latest information available is offered to the forensic community. This book demonstrates expertise in forensic dentistry by presenting chapters on human identification in domestic and international situations; investigations on missing person and violent crimes against persons; mass-disaster planning and disaster response; and new threats from terrorist attacks on urban centers. Furthermore, it discusses topics regarding bitemark evidence, such as forensic photography, analysis and legal issues. The book also presents two chapters on new scientific topics: The Next Level in Victim Identification: Materials Properties as an Aid in Victim Identification; and DNA for First Responders: Recognizing, Collecting, and Analyzing Biological Evidence Related to Dentistry (chapters 3 and 8, respectively). This book is suited to anyone seeking knowledge on forensic dentistry; it will be of great value to investigators, lawyers, medical examiners, nurses, and dentists with an interest in forensic dental cases.

Key Features

  • Contributions by internationally recognized and experienced forensic experts cover missing persons cases and mass disaster cases from around the world
  • Contains over 200 full-color photographs of crime scene evidence, human identification cases and bitemark details
  • Includes many new exoneration cases derived from the Editor's work with the Innocence Project


Forensic professionals (odontologists, medical examiners, researchers and practitioners), law enforcement professionals (police, investigators, police academies / training), dentists preparing to be an expert witness, legal professionals and forensic science post-graduate students

Table of Contents

  • Contributors

    Photo Credits


    Preface to Second Edition

    Preface to First Edition



    1. Historical Dental Investigations


        The Forensic Examination of Herakleides

        The Aging of Herakleides

        The Odontological Identification of Adolf Hitler, Using Cinematographic Documents


             A Short Biography of Adolf Hitler

             Hitler's Death

             Remains and X-Rays

             High and Moderate Degrees of Concordance


        Dental Forensic Identifications: The Beginnings to the Nineteenth  Century

             Hesi-Ré: The First Dentist

             Lollia Paulina: The First Record of Forensic Dental Identification

             Dr. Joseph Warren: The First Forensic Dental Identification in the United States

             Edinburgh 1814: The First Use of Dental Evidence in a Court Case

             Tooth Eruption Patterns as an Age Determinant

             Parkman/Webster Murder Trial, Boston 1850: The First Court Case Largely Built on Dental Evidence

             John Wilkes Booth: Identification of the Infamous Assassin

             The “Bazar de la Charité” Disaster Results in the World’s First Forensic Odontology Text

    2. Dental Detectives

        Who Is a Qualified Forensic Dentist? Advice: Use the Best

        What Dentists Do

        What to Do When “a Skull with Some Teeth” Has Been Discovered

        The Use of Teeth by Forensic Science

        Factors that Change the Appearance of Teeth Over a Lifetime

        The Language of Dental Identification

        Tooth Names and Quantity of Teeth in Adults and Children

        Human Tooth Morphology

        The Dental Investigator's Role in Forensic Case Work

        Collecting and Preserving Useful Evidence

        Scientific Dental Investigations

        The Most Famous Bitemark Case of the 20th Century

        Woman’s Identity Confirmed by a Missing Tooth

    3. The Next Level in Victim Identification: Materials Properties as an Aid in Victim Identification


        Modern Challenges, Radiography, and Fluorescence

        SEM and SLICE


        Incinerated Remains

        Collection and Analysis

    4. Forensic Dentistry Investigation Protocols

        Dental Uniqueness

        Dental Autopsy

        Terminology for Body Identification (from the ABFO Guidelines,

    5. Recognition, Documentation, Evidence Collection, and Interpretation of Bitemark Evidence

        The History of Bitemarks in the New World

        Sequence of Events in a Bitemark Investigation


        Preliminary Bitemark Examination

        Skin Distortions Affecting Biter Identification

        Features Indicative of Bite Marks in Skin

        Locations of Bitemarks on Humans

        Variable Appearance of Bitemarks

        Evidence Collection for Bitemarks


        Impressions of a Bitemark

        What the Dentist Does Next

        Objects Bitten: How Certain Is the Dentist About the Biter?

        What the Dentist Looks for in the Suspect's Mouth

        Evidence Collection Protocols

        Recovery of Bitemark Evidence from the Victim

        Photographs of Potential Bitemark Evidence

        Recording the Topography of a Bitemark

        Documentation of Bite Mark Evidence

        Live Victim Testimony

        Recovery of Bitemark Evidence from a Live Person

        Laboratory Analysis of Bitemark Evidence

        Evidence Collection from a Suspect

        Dental and dna Evidence Collection from a Suspect

        Comparison of Injury and Suspect Dental Exemplars


    6. Bitemarks in England and Wales


        The Process: Identifying a Bitemark and Collecting Evidence

        The Process: Evidence Collection from the Bite Suspect(s)

        The Process: Comparison

        The Process: Report and Trial


    7. Legal Issues Concerning Bitemark Evidence in the United States

        Legal Factors of Evidence Collection and Its Use in Court

        The Fourth Amendment: Arrest Search and Seizure

        Admissibility of Expert Evidence Based on Relevance and Scientific Reliability

        National Academy of Sciences (NAS) 2009 Review of Bitemark Evidence

        Report Concerns About Certain Forensic Disciplines

        Report Concerns About Bitemark Analysis

        Types of Dental Testimony by Dentists

        Use of Bitemark Evidence in Jurisdictions Using the Frye Standard for Admissibility

        Use of Bitemark Testimony Under the Federal Rules of Evidence

        Typical Questions Law Enforcement Asks Regarding Dental Evidence

        The Scientific Limitations of Bitemark Testimony

        Bitemark Guidelines

        Scientific Literature on Bitemark Identification

        The Accuracy of Skin as a Substrate for Bitemarks

        Uniqueness of the Human Dentition

        Future Improvements to Bitemark Identification

        Wrongful Convictions and Erroneous Bitemark Opinions

        The Innocence Project/Network

        Erroneous Bitemark Opinions that Were Overturned by DNA

    8. DNA for First Responders: Recognizing, Collecting, and Analyzing Biological Evidence Related to Dentistry

        Why DNA?

        DNA Applications in Forensic Dentistry

        Sample Collection Techniques

        Behind the Laboratory Door

        Interpreting DNA Evidence

    9. Missing and Unidentified Persons: The National Crime Information Center Dental Enhancements

        The Function of the Dental Enhancements

        History and Development of the Dental Functions in NCIC

        Collection of Dental Information

        The NCIC Missing and Unidentified Persons File Data Collection Entry Guides

        The National Dental Image/Information Repository

        Comparison Logic

        The NCIC Dental Crossmatch Report ($.M)

        NCIC Offline Search

        NCIC Records Entered Prior to April 4, 2004

        Juvenile Runaway Issues

        Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) Conversion Issue

        Wanted Persons Issues

        Other Missing and Unidentified Persons Resources


    10. The Disaster Victim Identification System: Its General Structure and the Swiss Involvement


        Interpol and DVI

        The Disaster Victim Identification Guide

        The Swiss DVI Organization


        The Swiss DVI Team in Thailand after the Tsunami

        The Back-Office in Berne, Switzerland


    11. Recognizing, Documenting, and Analyzing Physical Evidence in Abuse Cases

        Child Maltreatment

        Abuse During Pregnancy

        Physical Injuries During Dating Relationship

        Spouse Abuse (Intimate Partner Violence)

        Elder Abuse and Neglect

        Techniques for Recording Evidence of Traumatic Injuries


    12. Managing a Mass Fatality Incident


        Dental Response

        Temporary Morgues

        Processing Human Remains

        Identification Methods

        Challenges in Mass Disaster Management

        Family Assistance Center

        Mental Health Counseling

        Aftermath of a Commercial Airline Accident

        MFI Recommendations for Medical Examiners’ Needs

        International DVI Teams Cooperating During an Event

    13. Identifying Victims of 9/11 At the Office of Chief Medical Examine City of New York

    14. Australasian and Multinational Disaster Victim Identification


        Local Incidents

        Regional Assistance

        Multinational Disasters

        Simplifying Deployments


    15. Photography and Forensic Dental Evidence

        Photographic Duties

        Standard Photographic Protocols


    16. The Use of Digital Imaging in Human Identification and Crime Scene Analysis

        Measuring the Physical Characteristics of Two- and Three-Dimensional Evidence


        Digital Comparison of Bitemark Evidence

        Dental Identification: The Uses of Digital Imaging


Product details

  • No. of pages: 368
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2010
  • Published: August 27, 2010
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123820013
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780123820006
  • About the Editor

    Michael Bowers

    Michael Bowers
    C. Michael Bowers is an Associate Clinical Professor at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA. He is also the Deputy Medical Examiner in Ventura, California. Dr. Bowers is a practicing forensic dentist and consultant who has testified and worked on hundreds of cases where dental evidence has been involved. He is a former Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Odontology, a Senior Crime Scene Analyst for the International Association for Identification (IAI) and has written other articles, chapters and books on forensic dentistry. He owns and operates his own dental practice in Ventura, CA.

    Affiliations and Expertise

    Associate Clinical Professor, Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA; Deputy Medical Examiner, Ventura, CA, USA