Improve Awareness of the Forensic Odontology among Medical Graduates: Need of the Hour?
Keywords:Forensic odontology, teeth, dental records, questionnaire, graduates
Introduction: Forensic odontology is a fastly growing field in both dental and forensic sciences. It involves
the application of principles and expertise of dental sciences for criminal investigations. With increasing
demand and use of dental evidence in forensic examinations, proper knowledge and awareness of the subject
is more necessary than ever before.
Materials and Method: A survey was conducted in Medical and Dental colleges in and around Mangalore,
Dakshina Kannada after approval from institutional ethics committee. It included MBBS and BDS students
(III year to internship)
Result: The analysis of the data showed two fold results. Knowledge of tooth as a source of DNA, evidence
for natural disasters in personalle identification was equal among the graduates. Medical graduates had
higher awarenes of certain aspects like barr bodies and anthropometry whereas; Dental graduates were
aware of the odontology aspects in identification of cases of rapes, child abuse, techniques like forensic
radiology, bite mark analysis and sexual dimorphism in teeth.
Conclusion: The study highlighted the difference in knowledge of forensic odontology between medical and
dental students. It emphasized on the need of increasing awareness of the subject among medical graduates
and to help them understand the role of their peers from the dental fraternity in forensic sciences. The study
also stressed on the need of a forensic odontologist in the State Forensic Team.
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