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By: Adriana Noton
There are moments in this world when things happen that we wish had not and we need to go to court to rectify the situation. Sometimes, that involves the use of a dental expert witness who can testify on various aspects of forensic dentistry, which is someone who knows how to properly handle evidence, do a required examination following proper procedures in accordance with applicable laws, and then explains what they have found in a court of law. These specialists focus on product malfunctions, improper dental care, abuse, age, and identification of human remains.

When equipment gets installed into our mouths and it fails to work properly, injury can result. The result may be a lawsuit against the manufacturer or the person who installed the device. In order for the court, and if there is a jury, to understand what exactly happened, a defense attorney will bring in someone who has a background in this area to explain what went wrong and if there was any negligence.

There are times when some dentists will travel a little outside there expertise and perform a procedure that should have been left for someone better qualified to perform. Again, acquiring the knowledge of someone who has a very good understanding of why the person who performed the procedure had not the adequate training or experience is essential to understanding what went wrong.

A sad aspect of people who have suffered abuse, whether they are young or old, is that being bitten is not that uncommon. What someone who understands bite marks can do is match up the teeth patterns to the person who actually perpetrated the abuse. This helps to confirm the identity of the one who did wrong to another person.

There are certain aspects to the wear and tear and teeth that allows a person to ascertain the approximate age of skeletal remains as they put a picture together of the who they think the remains belonged to. These are times when a person dies and they start to decay before anybody finds them. The skin fades away and fingerprints are no longer available. Facial recognition is out of the question.

Then there are moments of mass tragedy where there are numerous victims that must be accounted for. Sometimes it is just body parts they are sifting through as they try to piece together the identity of the victims. This is common in airplane accidents, or where there has been a bombing where many people were, such as the World Trade Center.

Forensic dentists will take records of the dead person's teeth and match up work that has been done and teeth patterns. Everyone has a certain uniqueness to them either naturally or though alterations, and in many cases an identity can be confirmed.

A dental expert witness helps in many area in the court of law and in identifying the remains of people so their families can take them home for a decent burial. These people are specifically trained to perform the work necessary to complete these type of tasks, and are a trusted source of information for both the courts and lay people.


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