Forensic Science (2008), Volume 3 by Ayn Embar-seddon, Allan D. Pass

By Ayn Embar-seddon, Allan D. Pass

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Next, the mouth is opened. In some cases, the forensic dentist can open the mouth manu782 Forensic Science ally, but in many cases, rigor mortis, carbonization (burning), or fragmentation of the body makes it necessary to gain access to the oral cavity by dissection. The jaw may be broken with a mallet and chisel or cut with pruning shears or a bone saw, or the dentist may expose the interior of the mouth by dissecting away the facial muscles. Interior photographs and X rays are then taken. The forensic dentist next makes a dental chart, using a numbering system to record the presence or absence of each of the thirty-two teeth an adult usually has; the dentist notes whether each tooth is a primary (baby) tooth or a permanent tooth.

The boy was one of the victims in what became known as the Atlanta child murders. (AP/Wide World Photos) Further Reading Bowers, C. Michael. Forensic Dental Evidence: An Investigator’s Handbook. : Elsevier Academic Press, 2004. Outlines the basics of forensic dentistry for lawenforcement personnel and others who must handle and understand dental evidence but who are not dentists. Fairgrieve, Scott I. Forensic Cremation: Recovery and Analysis. : CRC Press, 2008. Examines the effects of fire on human tissue, paying special attention to the use of DNA and dental remains as means of reconstructing crimes and making identifications.

Potter. The Four Faces of Nuclear Terrorism. New York: Routledge, 2005. , and Gregory L. O’Hara. Fundamentals of Criminal Investigation. 7th ed. : Charles C Thomas, 2003. See also: Assassination; Environmental Measurements Laboratory; Nuclear detection devices; Radiation damage to tissues; Spectroscopy. Number theory. See Cryptology and number theory O Oblique lighting analysis Definition: Technique used in examining evidence that involves lighting an object from different angles to enhance the visibility of its surface features.

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