Forensic Dental Evidence

2nd Edition

An Investigator's Handbook

Editors: C. Michael Bowers
Hardcover ISBN: 9780123820006
eBook ISBN: 9780123820013
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 27th August 2010
Page Count: 368
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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 Foreword Preface to Second Edition Preface to First Edition Acknowledgments Introduction

  1. Historical Dental Investigations Overview The Forensic Examination of Herakleides The Aging of Herakleides The Odontological Identification of Adolf Hitler, Using Cinematographic Documents Introduction A Short Biography of Adolf Hitler Hitler's Death Remains and X-Rays High and Moderate Degrees of Concordance Conclusions 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 Introductio


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About the Editor

C. 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


"This book, really more impressively a treatise, leaves no (dental) stone unturned in explicating the history, the savoir faire, the investigative potential, the litigation and the research firmly establishing the foundations of dental identifications in the firmament of the forensic sciences." - James E Starrs, Professor Emeritus of Law & Forensic Sciences, The George Washington University 

"Forensic Dental Evidence: An Investigator's Handbook is a must-read for all participants in the criminal justice system--judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, investigators and police, to name a few--as well as all forensic odontologists. C. Michael Bowers, one of the world's most renowned forensic dental experts, draws upon a wealth of his expertise and that of others to put forth in a highly accessible book information and guidance that will surely prevent misidentifications and wrongful convictions." - Maurice Possley, Northern California Innocence Project at Santa Clara University Law School, Santa Clara, CA; Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist

"...this book comprehensively covers concepts and protocols necessary for criminal investigation involving dental evidence and will be of educational value and interest to many categories of reader. It is practical, up to date, informative, well-illustrated and appropriately cautionary."-- Judith A Hinchliffe, Independent Forensic Odontologist, New Zealand in Journal of Forensic Odonto-Stomatology (2011)