Antemortem Dental Records: Attitudes and Practices of Forensic Dentists

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This study was designed to provide insight concerning the attitudes and practices of forensic dentists regarding antemortem dental records reviewed for purposes of dental identification. Forensic dentists were invited to participate in a 10 item survey. The majority of the respondents reported a considerable amount of experience in dental identifications of the deceased. Sixty-six percent reported having suspected dental negligence or fraud in their antemortem record reviews. Only 17% believe that a forensic dentist should report suspected dental negligence, while 31% agree that dental fraud should be reported. Their response to additional issues addressed in the study suggests diversity in the practices and attitudes of forensic dentists in the use of antemortem dental records. In conclusion, opening a dialogue among practicing forensic dentists may lead to a standardized set of recommendations by the appropriate societies in the forensic dental community.
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