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Master of Science in Forensic Dentistry

Master of Science in Forensic Dentistry Program

Forensic dentistry is a fundamental discipline within the forensic sciences answering all medico-legal questions involving the dentition and maxillofacial structures. The two-year master’s program curriculum is designed to provide dentists interested in forensics with the education, training and experience required to clinically perform and produce expert opinions in cases involving single, multiple and mass disaster dental identification in the medical examiner office; assess dental age; recognize human abuse and patterned injury in accordance with the Standards and Guidelines of the American Board of Forensic Odontology. Graduates will be prepared to pursue national and international forensics careers.

Lincoln Memorial University is partnering with the Knox County Regional Forensic Center (RFC) as a part of the educational experience and training. Students will learn how the anthropologist recovers and analyzes decomposed and skeletal remains in clandestine and crime scene situations. Special training includes discovery and archaeological excavation of skeletal and dental remains followed by laboratory interpretation of perimortem ballistic, blunt and sharp-force injury. As part of the program, students, under the guidance of Division of Forensic Dentistry faculty and staff, will provide comprehensive dental and anthropological services to the Knox County Medical Examiner’s Office as well as to outside individuals, organizations and agencies.

The master’s degree in Forensic Dentistry is research focused, educating the forensic dentist in qualitative and quantitative research protocols and design methodology. A goal of the program is to produce valuable forensic research both independently and in collaboration with other educational and research institutions.

The degree is awarded by Lincoln Memorial University upon fulfillment of the program requirements, completion of research, production and acceptance of a thesis, and successful defense of the independent research effort.

Program Goals

  •   Education, Training and Experience

    To provide the forensic dentist with the knowledge and clinical skills required to critically evaluate and perform single, multiple and mass disaster dental identifications; estimate human dental age; recognize human abuse and patterned injuries in accordance with the American Board of Forensic Odontology’s Standards and Guidelines.

  •   Forensic Services

    To provide comprehensive dental, anthropological, and DNA services to the Knox County (Tennessee) Regional Forensic Center (Knoxville) and outside individuals, organizations and agencies upon request.

  •   Communication

    To develop forensic report writing styles for legal medicine submission to medical examiners and other medico-legal agencies and authorities; and, to educate the forensic dentist in court room dynamics and develop their skills as an expert witness.

  •   Critical Thinking

    Develop objective evaluation skills, consideration and analysis of an issue in order to form an unbiased judgement or opinion based upon intellectual reasoning and truth. This program will promote and develop a critical approach to collection, analysis and interpretation of forensic dental evidence. Additionally, to critically evaluate and understand published articles and conduct research appropriately.

  •   Research

    To educate the forensic dentist in qualitative and quantitative research protocols and design methodology. It is the goal of the program to produce valuable forensic research both independently and in collaboration with other educational and research institutions.

  •   Clandestine Grave & Crime Scene Recovery of Dental Evidence

    To expose and educate the forensic dentist to how the anthropologist analyzes decomposed and skeletal and dental remains in clandestine and crime scene situations. Special training involves discovery and archaeological excavation of skeletal and dental remains followed by laboratory interpretation of perimortem ballistic, blunt and sharp-force injury.

Curriculum

36 semester hours

Year I term I
F DENT 801 – Introduction to Forensic Science (2 Credit Hours)
F DENT 802 - Clinical Head & Neck Anatomy (3 Credit Hours)
F DENT 803 - Forensic Radiology (2 Credit Hours)
F DENT 804 - Forensic Research Methods (2 Credit Hours)
F DENT 805 - Forensic Science Journal Club (1 Credit Hours)

Year I term II
F DENT 806 - Forensic Odontology I (3 Credit Hours)
F DENT 807 - Statistics for Research I (3 Credit Hours)
F DENT 808 - Dental Ethics (1 Credit Hours)
F DENT 809 - Dental Specialties Review (2 Credit Hours)
F DENT 810 - Forensic Dentistry Research and Manuscript I (1 Credit Hours)

Year II term I
F DENT 811 - Statistics for Research II (3 Credit Hours)
F DENT 812 - Forensic Odontology II (3 Credit Hours)
F DENT 813 - Forensic Science II (3 Credit Hours)
F DENT 814 - Forensic Dentistry Research and Manuscript II (1 Credit Hours)

Year II term II
F DENT 815 – Forensic Dentistry Research and Manuscript III (6 Credit Hours)