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This Is How Forensic Dentistry Works

Thursday, October 3rd, 2019

When you think about dentistry, what first comes to mind is probably a routine check-up at the dentist’s office (and we love that!)

But have you ever thought about the angles of dentistry beyond that? Just like any other industry, there are a number of different ways in which dentistry can play an important role in our lives in other ways.

One of those ways is in forensics! Any Law & Order: SVU fans? You’ll want to keep reading…

This Is How Forensic Dentistry Works Hagen Blog

What IS Forensic Dentistry?

We’re pretty confident that you’ve heard of forensics before—but in case you haven’t, it’s simply the process of applying scientific techniques to assist in criminal justice efforts. A key part of this involves the proper handling and analysis of physical evidence (1).

As you might imagine, the world of forensics has come a long way in recent years…and it’s pretty cool stuff!

So how does dentistry play a role in any of this? Put simply, teeth are actually a pretty important part of physical evidence. Just like your fingerprints, your teeth are unique to only you. In fact, even identical twins have different sets of teeth.

Because we all have different personal habits, the type of wear and tear on our teeth differs from person to person. Grinding your teeth, playing an instrument, or clenching your jaw are just a few examples of this “wear and tear.” In turn, this makes our teeth and our teeth marks look very unique (2).

Because of this, criminal justice professionals can use dentistry as an eye-opening investigation tool. These professionals are called forensic odontologists. They have two primary jobs: to identify people by their teeth and to examine any bite marks discovered on a crime scene. They’re not only educated in the realm of criminal justice practices, but they’re especially well-versed in the anatomy of our teeth.

Did you know that we have different types of teeth, and among those different types, there are different surfaces on each tooth? With the help of dental records, X-rays, and a few other technological tools, forensic odontologists are able to analyze and make sense of these intricate surfaces.

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How Forensic Dentistry Helps Us 

Looking at the bigger picture, forensic dentistry makes the world a safer place! Without the hard work of forensic odontologists, our law enforcement would have a much harder time making any progress within their investigations.

Forensic dentistry can help uncover someone’s age, race, occupation, or even socioeconomic status–all important keys in solving a crime! (4) Every effort in a criminal investigation serves as an important piece to solving the puzzle.

Who knew that dentistry would be such an important one? Now, you do!

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Hagen Dental Practice Would Love to Help You

Although a visit to our office may not feel as exciting as a CSI episode, we’d still like to think it’s pretty exciting. We always treat you with kindness, compassion, and understanding at Hagen Dental! We’re here to earn your trust with personalized, gentle care. Call (513) 251-5500 or click the Online Scheduling button here to schedule your next visit.

Sources:

  1. https://www.merriam-webster.com/medical/forensic%20science
  2. https://www.thehealthy.com/bodies/unique-body-parts/
  3. https://science.howstuffworks.com/forensic-dentistry3.htm
  4. https://www.affiliateddentists.com/info/forensic-dentistry-crime-solving/