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.

print version

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

To find units available for enrolment in the current year, you must make sure you use the indexes and browse unit tool in the current edition of the Handbook.

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


The aim of this unit is to provide students with a thorough understanding of all aspects of forensic odontology relating to the treatment of living people in a legal setting. The unit is designed for practicing dentists and medical practitioners who wish to gain a greater understanding of how to deal with the examination and reporting of injuries caused by the teeth, and injuries inflicted to the oro-facial complex. The unit will also cover dental age estimation techniques, identification of unknown living individuals and issues surrounding dental malpractice and fraud investigations.


On successful completion of this unit students will be expected to have acquired the knowledge and skills required to:

  • Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the anatomy of the facial skeleton, the bio-mechanics of bone and of facial trauma.
  • Practice bite mark interpretation and analysis.
  • Evaluate dental age estimation methods as applied to living individuals.
  • Recognise and evaluate the dental manifestations of child abuse.
  • Illustrate the limitations inherent in identification of individuals from CCTV images.
  • Discuss the regulations of the Australian Dental Board as they relate to malpractice and fraud investigation.
  • Construct a dento-legal report and demonstrate knowledge of the ramifications involved in presentation of clinical forensic odontology evidence before the courts.



Chief examiner(s)

Off-campus attendance requirements

It is expected that students will need to undertake approximately 12 hours of study per week over the semester. This will include contact time, private study, assessment tasks (case studies, assignments) and involvement in case work. Students are required to attend all workshops offered at the Department of Forensic Medicine during the semester.

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


FOR4001 - Medical Evidence
FOR4002 - Injury Interpretation
FOR4003 - Ethics, Medicine and the Law