DENTAL FORENSICS OR THE
TEETH CAN TELL
Forensic dentists assist in crime solving
by studying teeth and teeth impressions. Dental records are often
used to identify people. Because teeth are one of the hardest substances
in the human body, they are frequently well preserved. Dental x-rays
or records showing fillings, position of teeth, etc. can help forensic
dentists find a match of teeth to the individual. Eighty percent
of the time teeth impressions are used to identify unknown victims.
As a forensic dentist you will have the
chance to match teeth impressions to discover who took the bite?
The procedures for making teeth impressions
- Divide the styrofoam plate into six equal wedges. Cut the wedges.
- Take two of the wedges and stack them together. Cut off 1 inch from the pointed end of the wedges.
- Place the two wedges into your mouth as far as possible.
- Bite down on the wedges firmly and then remove
- Label the top and bottom wedges Top Teeth
and Bottom Teeth.
- Study the teeth impressions. Count
the number of teeth in the top and bottom impressions. What
other characteristics of the impressions do you notice? Compare the
top teeth impressions to the bottom. Are there teeth missing, spaces,
Practice being a forensic dentist
by leaving the room. One student in the room will take
a bite of thick cheese or thick chocolate. See if you can identify
the individual who took the bite by comparing the impressions with the
bite in the cheese or chocolate.