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If a dead body could not be identified because it is too far burnt, destroyed, or decided, the teeth can provide clues that lead to who that person was. Using the teeth and dental records to identify the dead people is the main field of odontology and forensic dentistry. Forensic dentists have become a very important part of investigation on missing persons, disaster recovery, and solving and prosecuting crimes.
The forensic dentist is responsible for identifying the disabled individuals by using the forensic dentistry methods. There are two main forms of dental identification. The first form is the most often performed examination called the comparative identification. This form is used to establish or prove that the remains or bodies of a decedent and the person represented by the dental records before death (antemortem) are one and the same. Information from circumstances or body usually has the clues that lead to who the dead person was. The second form is used in cases where the antemortem dental records are not available and that there are no clues that lead to the possible identity of the dead person. In such case, an after death dental record (postmortem) is completed or compiled by forensic dentists suggesting the possible characteristics of the dead to narrow down the search for the before death or atemortem materials.
Since forensic dentists focus on the identification accident victims, crime victims and the analysis of bite marks to identify the assailants, candidates for this job must have completed a degree in dentistry and must have attended and completed courses and trainings in Odontology (diseases, anatomy, and development of teeth). It is also a plus factor to have attended trainings in criminalistics and law enforcement. Education also does not end once hired as a forensic dentist. Continuing education is a must to maintain proficiency as well as to earn sub-specialties.
Forensic Dentist Salaries :
Since the work of a forensic dentist is time consuming and that the working hours are irregular, a forensic dentist may receive a daily wage of $ 2,000 or as much as $ 150,000 a year when hired as a full-time forensic dentist.