DENTAL NEWS: Odontology a beneficial process for decomposed death body identification


Forensic odontology is the application of an odontologist's work towards the legal sphere, such as in criminal cases. It is the proper handling, examination and evaluation of dental evidence, which will be then presented in the interest of justice. 



It involves the management, examination, evaluation and presentation of dental evidence in criminal or civil proceedings. This can be the best investigation tool. Odontology process where through the shape and the size of the teeth identification odf the death body takes place.


Interesting revelations were made at the Symposium on ‘Disaster Victim Identification’ organized by The Indian Dental Association (IDA) in Mumbai today. Speaking at the Symposium, Dr. Hemlata Pandey, a forensic odontologist expert in the Department of Forensic Medicine at Seth G.S. Medical College and KEM Hospital and the only Indian Forensic Ondotologist in Maharashtra, said “For identifying victims, Forensic Ondotology is faster, cheaper and also scientifically proven process as compared to DNA process.”

She further said “Currently there are only 3 or 4 forensic odontologist in India. Every possible effort needs to be made to introduce Forensic Ontology as a subject in Dental studies and create more such experts in the country”.

Dr Emilio Nuzzolese, a forensic odontologist from Italy, in his address said “It must be understood that it’s not only India but there are 7 other countries in the world were forensic odontology still needs to develop and promoted. This is one reason we have started a group call forensic odontology for human rights and now we have more than 100 consultants from 47 different countries with the idea of promoting best practice and new identification and respect of human identification with the application of forensic odontology because“Forensic Ondontology is the most powerful and efficient tool to indentify victims”.

Dr Ashok Dhoble, Honorary Secretary-General of IDA, said “Most experts agree that India faces an acute shortage of trained forensic experts and scientists and therefore the Indian Dental Association is now taking steps to introduce Fellowship Program for the dental community to the new and exciting field of Forensic Odontology”..

Forensic odontologists may be responsible for seven main areas of practice which include identification of found human remains, identification in mass fatalities, assessment of bite mark injuries, assessment of cases of abuse (such as child, spousal or elder abuse), civil cases involving malpractice and age estimation said Dr. Hemlata Pandey, a forensic odontologist expert.

Unfortunately, there is a shortage of forensic experts in India. According to crime statistics of "Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD)"- As per the statistics of our state, in 2013, the forensic laboratories examined a total of 31,442 cases. This figure went up to 36,431 cases in 2014 to drastically fall to 26,514 cases being examined by the state laboratory in 2015. As a result of this, while 2013 saw 10,553 cases being carried forward to the next year and 9,013 such cases being forwarded in 2014, the year 2015 saw a whopping rise in ‘cases carried forward to the next year’ to 24,557.

Over three million cases are pending in India's 21 high courts, and an astounding 26.3 million cases are pending in subordinate courts across the country. At the same time, there are almost a quarter million under-trials languishing in jails across the country. Of these, some 2,069 have been in jail for more than five years, even as their guilt or innocence is yet to be ascertained.