We’re going to look at how forensic dentists analyze bite marks. You’re probably familiar with a couple of high-profile cases where DNA evidence exonerated suspects after bite analysis was used to “put them away.”
It should be noted that bite analyses are usually only part of the evidence. It should also be noted that bite analyses are not as unique as fingerprints or DNA evidence.
Nonetheless, bite marks can help rule out suspects and they can help make a case stronger. Forensic dentists can learn a lot from bite marks like if the biter has a missing or chipped tooth.
Analyzing bite marks can be very difficult. There are a lot of factors involved: location of the bite mark, whether either party was moving, and the pressure involved.
The forensic dentist must also determine if the bite was human or animal and whether it was self-inflicted. Finally, the forensic dentist must be careful as the bite mark changes over time.
Eventually, molds and photos of a suspect’s teeth can be compared to molds and photos of the bite mark. Digital X-ray images can play a crucial role in matching the bite mark with the owner of the mouth that made the bite mark. If it looks like there’s a match, investigators may have found their perpetrator.
While we don’t perform in-depth forensic dentistry here at Columbia Orthodontics, we can analyze your bite to make sure you are getting the most out of your chompers!