Case study discussion on the application on the forensic Odontology to cases documented in the literature
Bite marks are defined as an injury in skin caused by contact from teeth which shows the representational pattern of the oral structures. This is stated in the American board of forensic Odontology bite mark terminology guidelines (1995). Identification of bite marks is achieved by the comparison of the presumption that each indentation is unique and that the feature has been accurately transformed to the bite mark. It is crucial to determine if the bite mark is human or animal and if the bite is an adult or a child’s bite. This is especially important in child abuse cases to differentiate between parental abuse or that of a family pet. In adults, the intercanine distance is usually over 30mm, and in children it is usually less than 30mm. (On average over 4.4mm smaller intercanine distance than in adults) Rawson et al (1984) had a test group of 397 adults and found that the average intercanine distance varied between 21.3 and 41mm, in comparison Bernstein (2005) found that in children between the ages of 3 and 6 had an intercanine distance of 28-29mm. Due to this, it shows that it isn’t a reliable method of identification by itself. It was found that dental maturity was usually reached between the ages of 12 and 14. This makes human identification of human bite marks difficult. Animal canines are normally much easier to compare to human canines, this is due to the length and shape of the canines. Bite marks vary; this may be differences such as children’s teeth, e.g. smaller, rounder, bow like arches and larger spacing between teeth. Documentation of bite marks is crucial, this is done by photographic evidence, and the distortion in this method must be kept to a minimum as unsatisfactory evidence will be disregarded in a court of law. Appropriate scale provided by the British association of forensic Odontology (BAFO) without the correct usage of this...
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