Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences
Organisational UnitVictorian Institute of Forensic Medicine
OfferedSouthbank First semester 2013 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Dr Anthony Hill


Forensic Odontology encompasses the intersection between dentistry and the law. Practitioners in this field require a solid understanding of all aspects of dental practice as it relates to medico-legal investigation.
The aim of this unit is to provide students with knowledge and practical skills that will enable them to apply their dental knowledge to questions of legal/coronial import, especially in the field of human identification.
Forensic Odontology practitioners require expert knowledge in areas including; injury interpretation, evidence interpretation, dental anthropology, forensic anthropology, imaging technology, mortuary practice, and medico-legal report writing.


On successful completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of the core elements of Forensic Odontology which underlie Forensic Odontological investigation;
  2. To introduce students to the fundamentals of mortuary practice and protocol, including ethical treatment of the deceased, dental examination and imaging procedures.
  3. To develop a working understanding of human skeletal and dental development and the changes which occur with increasing age, including an introduction to forensic age estimation methods.
  4. To acquire an understanding of the structure of the human skeleton, and to develop the ability to distinguish human from non-human skeletal and dental elements,
  5. To introduce students to Disaster Victim identification, including mass grave exhumation techniques and an awareness of the role of the Forensic Odontologist in war crimes investigations;
  6. To develop skills in the application of CT technology and software systems in post-mortem examinations.
  7. To develop an understanding of the principles of medico-legal report writing as applied to the discipline of forensic odontology.


Assignment -25%
Case report 25%
Oral presentation - 25%
Case book - 25%

Chief examiner(s)

Off-campus attendance requirements

2 day workshop


+ Graduate with the degree of Bachelor of Medicine/Surgery or Bachelor of Dentistry in an Australian University; or
+ Have qualifications which, in the opinion of the Faculty Board, are equivalent to or are a satisfactory substitute for the qualifications described above; and
+ Have at least 3 years experience in clinical or dental practice.
+ Provide proof of Medical or Dental Board registration