Forensic dentistry: 2. Bitemarks and bite injuries.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

While the practice of human identification is well established, validated and proven to be accurate, the practice of bitemark analysis is less well accepted.The principle of identifying an injury as a bitemark is complex and, depending on severity and anatomical location, highly subjective. Following the identification of an injury as a bitemark, the comparison of the pattern produced to a suspect's dentition is even more contentious and an area of great debate within contemporary odontological practice. Advanced techniques using digital overlays have been suggested, yet studies have shown that these can be inaccurate and there is no agreement as to the preferred method of comparison. However, the advent of DNA and its recovery from bitemarks has offered an objective method of bitemark analysis. Despite the strengths of DNA, the physical comparison of a suspect's dentition to bitemark injuries is still commonplace.The issues within bitemark analysis are discussed and illustrated with case examples. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: Dentists should be aware of where bitemarks are most commonly found, and of their significance in cases of children, the elderly and spousal abuse.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-58
Number of pages10
JournalDental Update
Volume35
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008