Forensic dentistry may be defined as that branch of forensic medicine that applies dental knowledge to civil and criminal problems. The military simply
expands this definition to include the unique needs of the military services. While it is true that our primary mission is to support requests for aid in forensic dental identification, you must understand that dental identification is only one of a number of major areas in forensic dentistry. These include: dental identification, bite mark analysis, human abuse and neglect, dental malpractice and negligence, and dental anthropology and archaeology. As a basic dental assistant, your primary duties will be assisting dental officers and civilian dentists with the dental identification section in forensic dentistry when directed. The other major areas in forensic dentistry will not be covered in this book because they pertain mainly to dental officers and dentists.