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Forensic Odontology

Forensic dentistry is a developing area in Sri Lanka  but this specialty is well established in Western countries. Synonyms are Forensic Odontology and  Forensic Odonto Stomatology.

Forensic dentistry is defined as  an application of the art and sciences of dentistry to the legal system (Jablonski 1982). According to (Nielson,1980) it is the branch of Dentistry which deals with the proper handling and examination of dental evidence and proper evaluation and presentation of dental findings in the interest of the justice . 

This area basically deals with the Medic –legal issues related to dentistry both in the living and dead. At present two Dental Surgeons are employed as Forensic Odontologists located in the Institution of Legal medicine and toxicology , Colombo (ILMT)   to handle those cases within the institution and referrals from other forensic centers.

The basis of applications of this subject is as follows:

  • Estimation of age for civil purposes
  • Reporting Dental trauma followed by assaults, accidents etc. 
  • Identification of victim followed by a disaster  (DVI) 
  • Identification of unknown dead bodies by dental means in  criminal investigation
  • Estimation of Age, part of identification.
  • Assessment /analysis of bite marks in  cases of rape, child abuse etc.