This podcast episode discusses how dental evidence can be used to help identify human remains.
In this first episode of the mini season on unidentified human remains, the Just Science Podcast host talks with Assistant Chief Forensic Odontologist for the New York City Office of Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Kenneth Aschheim, on the use of teeth of decedents to match with antemortem dental records in order to help identify unknown human remains. Dr. Aschheim provides an overview of the history and development of modern forensic odontology; he also discusses the process of forensic odontology. The podcasters also discuss some of the identifying features that can be determined through teeth, how they serve as powerful tools for identification, and how forensic odontology can be used as a means of identification in mass fatality incidents. Dr. Aschheim explains the goal of scientific identification and the use of teeth along with other methods of human identification, some limitations to forensic odontology, resources and guidelines for the identification of human remains, and the use of technology to advance the forensic odontology field.