FOR5016 - Clinical forensic odontology - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 2, 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 Lyndall Smythe
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



  • Second semester 2019 (Online)


FOR4001, FOR4002, FOR4003


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.


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

  1. Evaluate facial trauma giving consideration to the bio-mechanics of the bones of the facial skeleton.
  2. Analyse and interpret soft tissue injury in relation to bite mark evidence, applying skills in the discrimination and comparison of such injuries;
  3. Evaluate dental age estimation methods as applied to living individuals;
  4. Recognise and evaluate the dental manifestations of child abuse;
  5. Illustrate the limitations inherent in identification of individuals from CCTV images;
  6. Discuss the regulations of the Australian Dental Board as they relate to malpractice and fraud investigation;
  7. Construct dento-legal reports, and discuss the ramifications involved in presentation of clinical forensic odontology evidence before the courts.


  • Case Report (2000 words) (25%)
  • Case Study (2000 words) (25%)
  • Oral Presentation (15 mins + 5 discussion) (20%)
  • Essay (2400 words) (30%)

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: