November 2018 Meeting Report

The second meeting of the 2018/ 2019 session was held in Lecture Theatre 2 of GDH on Tuesday 20th November 2018 commencing at 7pm.
The minutes of the previous meeting, published online were approved.
The President, Mr Roddy Black, welcomed the members and guests to the meeting.
He then introduced the speaker, Dr Andrew Forgie and asked him to give his address to the society entitled ‘Forensic Dentistry: It’s not all CSI’
Dr Forgie started his talk by taking the audience through his career to date. He then outlined what he hoped to discuss.
He started by explaining that Forensic Dentistry is not a specialty. There is no regulatory authority. Any dentist can claim to be a forensic dentist. Within the UK civil litigation cases are not involved. Dr Forgie pointed anyone interested to the British association of Forensic Odontologists website.
He explained why identification of the dead is important – Human Right to be identified once you are dead, financial / business reasons, religious reasons, important to surviving relatives, criminal investigations. He discussed why odontology is used – visual identification not always reliable, stability of teeth, DNA can be hard to get and is expensive, speed and accuracy.
He then explained what is involved in single / routine identification which is 95% of his case load.
This involves the comparison of ante mortem and post mortem records. The types of records that are useful are-dental charts (am / pm) – if electronic send the key, radiographs (am / pm) – most useful as they are hard evidence of ante mortem condition and every mouth is different even those without restorations, models (am) – opposing cast very useful, photographs (am/pm), dentures- used with caution as they can be exchanged, soft tissue marks (am / pm) – amalgam tattoo, tongue piercing, cleft palate, surgery.
The standards of identification are: – established (definitely the person), excluded (definitely not the person), probable (pretty sure), possible (need a bit more evidence), and insufficient evidence.
He then discussed the identification of a number of cases.
He then went onto discuss Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) the investigation of which is dictated by Interpol. They can be open (unknown number of victims e.g. tsunami) or closed (known number of victims e.g. aircraft); man-made or natural; accidental or criminal.
He then discussed the means of mass identification – dental analysis involved in 70-75% cases. He described who was involved in DVI and the methods used.
He then went onto discuss bite marks and tested the audiences’ powers of deciding whether or not a mark was in fact a bite mark. Bite marks are very controversial, they are subjective and upsetting, time consuming and have serious implications. He discussed ways of making their identification more objective.
He finished his lecture by discussing future developments – the use of ‘selfies’ in identification and the possibility, if more than one is available, of using them to construct a 3D image. The use chemically based tests for identification e.g. proteins in enamel. Although it may not be possible to prove who made the bite mark it may be possible using salivary biomarkers to prove who the saliva belonged to.
Dr Forgie was happy to answer questions.
Dr Laura Cross proposed the vote of thanks and thanked the speaker for an interesting and enjoyable presentation. The president then asked the audience to thank the speaker in the usual manner and presented him with an Odontological Society paperweight.
Under AOCB the President reminded members that to get CPD for the meetings they have to sign in giving their contact email address, without this CPD certificates cannot be sent out. An email will be sent out following the meeting and members were asked to follow the instructions contained in to generate individual CPD certificates.
He asked that any member wishing to propose another member for Honorary Membership status to contact the Secretary or any of the Council members with their nominee.
He then informed the audience that the Annual Dinner will be held on Saturday 23rd February 2019 in the RCPS Glasgow. The cost will be £65. Dress code: Black Tie. There are restricted numbers. The proceedings of the raffle are going to the Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice.
The next meeting is on Tuesday 4th December 2018 in The Lecture Theatre, Anatomy Department, University of Glasgow. It is entitled ‘What are you looking at?’ and will be given by Mr Alastair MacDonald. There will be drinks and mince pies in the Anatomy Museum following the meeting.