Forensic dentistry can be defined in many ways. One of the more elegant definitions is simply that forensic dentistry represents the overlap between the dental and the legal professions. This two-part series presents the field of forensic dentistry by outlining two of the major aspects of the profession: human identification and bite marks. This first paper examines the use of the human dentition and surrounding structures to enable the identification of found human remains. Conventional and novel techniques are presented. © British Dental Journal.