Analyses of various clay bite-mark impressions that correlate back to their respective skeletal dentition

Rachel Lynn Athoe, John Albanese


Demonstrating the importance of bite-mark evidence within the forensic science community is extremely valuable in order to retain its legitimacy. This was illustrated by using techniques and analyses to match a bite-mark impression back to the specimen in which it originated. Bite-marks are known as a number of bruised markings on the skins surface, often in a semi-lunar shape produced by a human with a particular set of teeth. When referring to a particular set of teeth, class and individual characteristics need to be examined within that dentition. 20 bite-mark impressions were created within clay using 10 skeletal mandibles and 10 skeletal maxillas. 60 trials were performed in order to examine whether or not the given cast and impression are a match or no match to one another. 57 out of 60 trials were successful, giving a 95% success rate in determining the correct outcome. However, 3 of out 60 trials were unsuccessful. The success rate of the performed trials provides evidence that bite-marks are fundamentally important in forensic investigations. The purpose of this research  was to  accurately match various bite-mark impressions back to the specimen that produced  it in order to prove the worth of bite-mark evidence in a court of law.

Full Text:



Kaur, S., Krishan, K., Chatterjee, P. M., & Kanchan, T. (2013, September). Analysis and Identification of Bite Marks in Forensic Casework. Oral Health and Dental Management, 12(3), 127-131.

Reesu, G. V., & Brown, N. L. (2016). Inconsistency in opinions of forensic odontologists when considering bite mark evidence. Forensic Science International, 266, 263-270.

Deitch, A. (2009). An Inconvenient Tooth: Forensic Odontology Is an Inadmissible Junk Science When It Is Used to Match Teeth to Bitemarks in Skin. 1206-1236.

Perrier J. Neil. (2011, March) The Criteria for the Admissibility of Expert Opinion Evidence in the Context of Professional Disciplinary Hearings. 1-5.

Sheasby, D. R., & MacDonald, D. G. (2001). A forensic classification of distortion in human bite marks. Forensic Science International, 122(1), 75–78. doi:10.1016/s0379- 0738(01)00433-9

Copyright (c) 2017 Rachel Lynn Athoe

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.