FOR5014 - Elements of forensic odontology - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Organisational Unit

Forensic Medicine

Chief examiner(s)

Associate Professor Richard Bassed


Dr Jeremy Graham
Associate Professor Richard Bassed

Quota applies

This unit is quota restricted. Selection is on a first-in, first enrolled basis. For further information please contact the Postgraduate Course Administrator via email or phone 03 9684 4115.

Unit guides



  • First semester 2018 (Online)


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.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Describe how the principles of Forensic Odontology apply to Forensic Odontological investigations;
  2. Perform advanced mortuary procedures and protocols, including ethical treatment of the deceased, post-mortem dental examination and imaging procedures;
  3. Estimate and classify human skeletal and dental development, using appropriate forensic age estimation methods;
  4. Confidently discriminate between human and non-human skeletal, and dental elements during forensic investigations;
  5. Explain the role of the Forensic Odontologist in each of the five stages of Disaster Victim identification, including mass grave exhumation techniques and an awareness of the role of the Forensic Odontologist in war crimes investigations;
  6. Apply and utilise CT technology and associated software systems in post-mortem examinations;
  7. Prepare medico-legal forensic odontology reports that support the presentation of evidence in courts of law.


  • Assignment (2,000 words) (35%)
  • Case report (2,000 words) (35%)
  • Oral presentation (15%)
  • Case Study (1,000 words) (15%)

Hurdle Requirement

A pass in all elements of assessment is required. Students must obtain at least 50 % of the available marks for each element of assessment to pass the unit.

Workload 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, where possible, involvement in casework. Students are required to attend all workshops offered at the Department of Forensic Medicine during the semester.

See also Unit timetable information

Off-campus attendance requirements

Compulsory 2 day workshop.

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

Additional information on this unit is available from the faculty at: