...This is perhaps the first book which gives information on the forensic examination of dental structure in such great detail... and with so many illustrative photographs... A must for all medical examiners, investigators, dental specialists, forensic odontologists, lawyers, and expert witnesses...
Dental Autopsy, 1st Edition, by William E. Silver and Richard R. Souviron. Hard Bound, 10.1" x 7.2" x 0.6".
CRC Press LLC, 2000 Corporate Blvd., N.W., Boca Raton, Florida 33431, Phone - 1(800)272-7737, Fax - 1(800)374-3401. Publication Date June 23, 2009. 276 pages, ISBN-10: 1420070134; ISBN-13: 978-1420070132 (alk. paper). Price: $129.95
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The book under review is a comprehensive treatise on forensic odontology. It is organized for field and lab reference. One of the most valuable aspects of the book is that it has been illustrated with more than 300 color photos.
The main aim of the book is to educate the dental, medical and legal professions in the conduct of a forensic dental examination of the oral structures and its many ramifications in the criminal justice system as well as in civil litigation. The book must prove to be an essential resource for medical examiners, investigators, dental specialists, lawyers, and expert witnesses.
The value of the book is enhanced by the actual case law that it provides. For instance on page 151, it gives the first ever case in the United States, where a bitemark was used to link a suspect to the crime. The criminal - a person named Doyle - after committing a burglary, quite naively bit into some cheese that was available at the scene of crime. In this 1954 Texas case (State v. Doyle, Texas, 1954), Dr. William Kemp, a Texas dentist testified that the bites in the piece of cheese at the scene of crime was indeed made by the suspect Doyle! Interestingly in this case, the police obtained the sample bitemark evidence from Doyle without a court order. Doyle later argued (in appeal) that this was a violation of his Fifth Amendment rights (protection against self-incrimination). However the appellate court did not agree with his argument and allowed the prosecution.
The book - which is one of the best in the field so far - has been written by Dr. William Silver and Dr. Richard Souviron. Silver is the deputy chief forensic odontologist for the Miami Dade Medical Examiner's Department. He has worked on numerous mass disasters and training programs, offering his expertise in dental identifications in the World Trade Center disaster, Hurricane Katrina, and the Miami Valujet crash. Dr. Richard Souviron is the chief forensic odontologist for the Miami Dade Medical Examiner's Department and is one of the founding forensic odontologists for the Odontology section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. He has been involved in several high profilebitemark cases and has appeared on Court TV, 60 Minutes, Forensic Files, Dateline, CNN, and BBC.
Here is a list of book contents, so readers may know exactly what kind of information to expect in this book.
|Introduction to Forensic Odontology
|Classification of Dental Remains
|Role of Dental Professionals
|Postmortem Records - The Dental Autopsy
|Methods of Comparison and Identification
|Odontoglyphics - Bitemarks
|The Expert Witness
Excerpts from the book:
Here are some excerpts from the book, so reader can get some ideas as to what is contained within the book. This is what the authors have to say in chapter 13 (Odontoglyphics - Bitemarks) - pages 158 onwards.
The types of human bitemarks can vary greatly; they can be offensive, defensive, self-inflicted, or consensual. The wound, regardless of type, can be classified as human or animal. Animal bites are discussed later in the text but human bites in skin can be classified based on severity.
The pattern is diffuse. No individual tooth marks are identified. There may be one or both arches marking (Figure 13.8). It may appear as a diffuse bruised ring and may be of little or no evidentiary value for matching to a suspect (Figure 13.9a,b). The Class I bite may not even be identifiable as a human bitemark, only a round pattern injury. However, it may be of great value in other regards such as saliva, DNA, arch forms, and so on.
This bite wound has both class and some individual characteristics. The arches upper (maxillary) and lower (mandible) can be identified. Specific teeth maybe identified. A Class II bite may be used more for exclusion than for inclusion of a suspect (Figures 13.10 and 13.11).
This bite will show excellent tooth morphology in at least one arch. Specific teeth shapes and their position in the dental arch can be identified. This class of bitemark can produce a dental profile of the biter as in the Bundy case and will be used for both inclusion as well as exclusion (Figure 13.12). The third dimension or indentations may be present and can help estimate the time the bite was inflicted in relation to the time of death (Figure 13.13).
This bite will be an incision or possibly an excision of the tissue. Blood is present on the surface and DNA may be contaminated. This class of bite is difficult if not impossible to get a profile of the teeth that caused it. However, a Class IV bite will almost always produce a permanent injury or disfigurement (Figure 13.14): the loss of a finger or an ear (Figure 13.15), or a permanent scar.
The book gives a host of similar information on all aspects of forensic odontology. We are sure our readers would enjoy the book as much as we at the journal office did.
Review by -Puneet Setia and Avneesh Gupta
Dr. Puneet Setia is working as an Assistant Professor in the department of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology at Vir Chandra Singh Garhwali Govt. Medical Science & Research Institute. His research interests include psychological aspects of sexual crimes and paraphilias. He is associated with Anil Aggrawal's Internet Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology as a writer and book reviewer. He can be contacted at email@example.com
Dr. Avneesh Gupta qualified as a forensic pathologist from India with honors and then completed his residency in forensic pathology in Wayne County, Detroit. He is now working as a Deputy Medical Examiner at Cochise County, Arizona. He has to his credit a number of publications in leading journals around the world. His landmark thesis on "Cranial Cerebral Damage In Fatal Road Traffic Accidents With Special Reference to Circle Of Willis" can be accessed by clicking here. He is associated with Anil Aggrawal's Internet Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology as a journal associate, writer and book reviewer. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. During his spare time, he enjoys meeting friends and traveling.
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