The sphere of dental forensics: Components and the obligations of the dental professional

The roles forensic dental professionals play involve work in human identification, human abuse, expert witness testimony, bite mark analysis, age estimation, and contribution to the creation of forensic dental standards.

A peer-reviewed article written by Winnie Furnari, MS, RDH, FAADH, FAAFS, FADE

Educational objectives

At the conclusion of this course, the dental health professional will be able to:

  1. Identify areas of dental forensics and the legal and ethical obligations for participation
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of the organization and mechanisms of a multiple fatality team
  3. Identify legal aspects and signs of human abuse
  4. Identify pathways to further knowledge and opportunities for involvement in forensic dentistry

“The sphere of dental forensics” Abstract

Forensic dentistry/odontology is not an official specialty as defined by the American Dental Association (ADA). It is an enhancement of the dental profession that requires dental professionals to use knowledge, experience, and judgment to collaborate with legal systems. Within this field, dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, and others play vital roles in several areas. They will often be affiliated with coroners, medical examiners, and law enforcement agencies in the United States and worldwide. The roles forensic dental professionals play involve work in human identification, human abuse, expert witness testimony, bite mark analysis, age estimation, and contribution to the creation of forensic dental standards.

WINNIE FURNARI, MS, RDH, FAADH, FAAFS, FADE, is recognized for her work in dental forensics and is a published speaker on the topic. She was trained by the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and is a member of several forensic organizations. Furnari serves as an affiliate member to the OSAC Standards Writing Committee. She is a clinical professor at NYU and teaches a course on forensic dentistry/catastrophe preparedness. As a member of the NY City Dental Identification Team, she has participated in several multiple-fatality responses.

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Course Includes

  • 1 Lesson
  • 1 Quiz
  • Course Certificate
  • 3 CE credit(s)

    This continuing education (CE) activity was developed by Endeavor Business Media with no commercial support.

    This course was written for dentists, dental hygienists, and dental assistants, from novice to skilled.

    Educational methods: This course is a self-instructional journal and web activity.

    Provider disclosure: Endeavor Business Media neither has a leadership position nor a commercial interest in any products or services discussed or shared in this educational activity. No manufacturer or third party had any input in the development of the course content.

    Requirements for successful completion: To obtain 3 CE credits for this educational activity, you must pay the required fee, review the material, complete the course evaluation, and obtain an exam score of 70% or higher.

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    Educational disclaimer: Completing a single continuing education course does not provide enough information to result in the participant being an expert in the field related to the course topic. It is a combination of many educational courses and clinical experience that allows the participant to develop skills and expertise.

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    Scientific integrity statement: Information shared in this CE course is developed from clinical research and represents the most current information available from evidence-based dentistry.

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    Registration: The cost of this CE course is $39.00 for 3 CE credits.

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    Provider information:

    Dental Board of California: Provider RP5933. Course registration number CA code: 03-5933-22055. Expires June 2025. “This course meets the Dental Board of California’s requirements for 3 units of continuing education.”

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    11/1/2019 to 10/31/2022.
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