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Year : 2014  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 11  |  Page : 553-557

Awareness of forensic odontology among legal professionals, Chennai, India

Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Ragas Dental College, Uthandi, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
Kannan Ranganathan
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Ragas Dental College, Uthandi, Chennai - 600 119, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1947-2714.145459

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Background: The forensic discipline of law is a multidisciplinary team comprising of specialists in forensic medicine, forensic odontology, security and law. Aim: The study was to find the awareness level of scope and utility of forensic odontology among lawyers in Chennai, South India. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study using a self administered structured questionnaire was conducted in 200 lawyers between August and September of 2013. The data was analyzed depending on age, gender, type and years of practice. Results: Lawyers above 40 years of experience were more aware of palatal rugae analysis (P = 0.02), and those with more than 20 years were aware of lip print (P = 0.001) and bite mark analysis (P = 0.001). Males were more aware of forensic odontology with respect to criminal identification (P = 0.001). The knowledge of bite mark analysis was higher among male lawyers (P = 0.001), civil and criminal practicing lawyers (P = 0.004). All participants were aware that loss or fracture of tooth constitutes a grievous injury under Indian Penal Code (IPC) 320 clause 7(5). Conclusion: This study highlighted the knowledge of forensic odontology among legal professionals and also identified the areas in which they need further appraisal.

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