J Kaur, B Rai
J Kaur, B Rai. Why Dentistry Restricted To Dental Clinics Only?. The Internet Journal of Dental Science. 2008 Volume 7 Number 1.
"It has been irresistible need to dissipate the knowledge of forensic odontology to dental profession". Forensic odontology includes the application of dental and paradental knowledge to the solution of legal issues in crime and legal matters. The role of forensic odontologist is to offer an advice, opinion and evidence to the judicial courts in legal matters lying within its professional training and experience, when these are required during investigations. The task of forensic odontologist is ruled by an obligation to be prudent in handling of dental evidences available and its interpretation for further analysis of identification.
Introduction and Discussion
This new era unfolds new discoveries and developments which usher a boom in communication and information technology (Tele-Dentistry) etc. But this also meets new challenges of terrorism, natural disasters and high rate of crime. Forensic dentistry has become an integral part of forensic medicine. Forensic Odontology is super-specialized branch of dentistry which occupies a niche within total spectrum of techniques applied to medico-legal issues. It deals with the study of application of dentistry in forensic investigations. Teeth are of paramount importance and one of prime factors employed for identification as they resist decomposition and are constant.
Forensic Odontology Techniques consist of DNA analysis, fingerprints, bitemarks, dental evidences, lip-prints, palatal rugae etc which further rely on comparative data. This science has utmost important value in Mass Disasters, in which large number of people meet their death at same time from same cause. DNA identification is difficult to implement on large masses. Fingerprints offer challenges in cases of highly decomposed bodies due to soft tissue desquamation. This situation requires identification of deaths which can be complicated further by rate and time of body recovery from disaster site. A delay in same can affect DNA integrity and postmortem artefacts, which are physiological unrelated changes after death in an individual.
All above challenges demand an approach to develop an identification system which relied on dental records as dental features are vital tools due to their survivability to physical and chemical factors of environment and their diversity.Forensic odontology plays vital role in identification and has become special science.
Forensic odontology if seen from dental curriculum is missing as being a vital organ of the body. Though efforts have been made to introduce this science, still many institutions have not recognized it so far. It has been made utmost compulsion to preserve dental records in many countries and their importance has been explained to patients so far, dentists have also been recommended to use fluorescent tags in the dentures or any tag revealing the identity in dental appliances put in patients mouth.
Forensic odontology has secure its position in coming years as the mass disasters have been always challenging to future human populations, in case of Tsunami disaster most of identification was made possible on dental evidences , while DNA , fingerprints, other soft tissues evidences contributed nominal. As the teeth are excellent markers for the identification so it is increasingly important to understand its importance. It is very essential to explore this field to wide horizons . It should be accepted as important science as soon and introduced as proper curriculum. In mass disasters, economy of country suffers a lot , still it cannot be further pressurized for further identification, so if cost effective methods are introduced it would further lower the burden on human future. If cost effective methods are further looked for, Forensic odontology stands on firm. This science doesnot require good investment and it includes different methods to be used for identification. No matter what kind of disaster is that, it involves methods that relies on evidences recovered from disaster site. As the rate and body recovery from sea can effect the evidences recovered so if other methods like DNA, fingerprinting are considered , they offer lot of challenges like DNA disintegration, soft tissue desquamation, so these are no more reliable, also in case of millions of death it becomes impossible to preserve bodies and other records, so a science is required to act immediately to produce results and identify at ealiest, this involves one science that is Forensic Odontology.
New applications have been introduced for forensic sciences, lot of courses are offered too , but a little attention has been paid to these, so this should be encouraged with awareness of its increasing importance and this would serve the humanity in future.Not only for the students but it should provide knowledge to the dentists owning their own hospitals and practicing as dental surgeons. It is very important to establish relation between forensic odontology and dental practice in clinics.