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School of Dentistry
The University of Adelaide
SA 5005


Telephone: +61 8 8313 5256
Facsimile: +61 8 8313 3444

Forensic Odontology Unit

Forensic Odontology is the application of dental science to the administration of the law. It provides an important community service in both the civil and criminal legal jurisdictions.

The Forensic Odontology Unit was established in The University of Adelaide in 1980 under the terms of an agreement made by the Government of South Australia, which funded the Unit, and the University. It was the first dedicated service of its kind in Australia and one of only a few worldwide at the time; truly a pioneer in the field.

In the years since, its services have been provided to the people of South Australia and have also been sought after both nationally and internationally. It has contributed to the resolution of many well known and famous cases, many of them involving the identification of victims of murder when the condition of the bodies rendered identification by other means impossible.

The scope of forensic odontology is wide and includes the identification of victims of transport accidents, gunshot, and incineration in vehicles and house fires. It also includes the examination of bitemarks inflicted by humans and animals in a variety of circumstances. Particularly significant are the bitemarks frequently produced upon victims of child abuse. Assessment of age is another important role of forensic odontology, applicable to both deceased and living persons.

Contact the Forensic Odontology Unit
+61 8 8313 5431
+61 8 8313 4385