Curricular Unit:Code:
Forensic Dentistry841MDF
5MasterDentistry2 ects
Learning Period:Language of Instruction:Total Hours:
Spring SemesterPortuguese/English26
Learning Outcomes of the Curricular Unit:
Recognize Forensic Odontology as a branch of Legal Medicine; Introduction to Legal Science: basic notions and general concepts; Forensic odontology: definition, history, and goals. Human identification by dental signals; Dental and non-dental identification techniques; Recognize the value of cheiloscopy and rugoscopy for human identification; Identify the concepts related to human identification in a situation of mass disasters; Medico-legal aspects of violence (child and elderly abuse); Recognize the techniques of medical-legal autopsies of the oral cavity; The importance of DNA obtained from dental tissues for human identification and Identify the oral changes associated with the consumption of alcohol and drugs of abuse.
The Legal Medicine Organization in Portugal. Assignments of the Technical Services of the Delegations and Medical-Legal Offices. Types of skills performed. Historical introduction to Forensic Dental Medicine and its constitution as an independent science. Dental and non-dental identification techniques. Importance of dental records in human identification. Cheiloscopy and Palatal Rugoscopy. Orofacial autopsy techniques. Human identification in mass disasters. Medico-legal aspects of violence (child and elderly abuse. DNA use in forensic dentistry. Different dental tissues as sources of DNA for human identification in forensic cases. DNA extraction and analysis. Oral diseases associated with alcohol and drug abuse consumption.
Demonstration of the Syllabus Coherence with the Curricular Unit's Objectives:
Coherence between syllabus and objectives of this unit is reflected in the segmented and oriented acquisition of various concepts and specific areas of Forensic Medicine application, development of critical spirit and ability to apply the knowledge acquired in carrying out medico-legal expertise in the scope of Dentistry and in the resolution of medico-legal issues. The request for practical activities helps to fulfil the established objectives.
Teaching Methodologies (Including Evaluation):
The teaching methods are theoretical-practical classes, including (1) explanation and debate of relevant theoretical concepts; (2) demonstration of the practical application of those concepts; and (3) guidance of autonomous study by the students, consulting the recommended references.
The assessment consists of one written test.
Demonstration of the Coherence between the Teaching Methodologies and the Learning Outcomes:
The teaching methodologies are consistent with the objectives of the course as they seek to provide students with knowledge related to specific areas of Forensic Odontology regarding its scope, objectives, and mode of conducting medical-legal expertise. With the resolution of practical cases, it is intended that students develop critical and reflective thinking, that allow updating and progressing in the scientific field and its practical application. In addition to the essential bibliography attached, each topic will be followed by specific readings that will be discussed in class to stimulate the understanding of the problem and acquisition of a critical spirit. The evaluation of the theoretical-practical component includes the accomplishment of a written theoretical test. The students that in the evaluation of the discipline have a classification inferior to 10 values, will be accepted to final examinations.
Bower (2011) Forensic Dental Evidence: An Investigator’s Handbook.Academic Press.
David & Lewis. (2018) Forensic Odontology: Principles and Practice. Elsevier Science.
Guimarães et al. (2020) Dental Diversity Patterns: Relevance in Portuguese Military Population”. Acta Scientific Dental Sciences 4.1: 91-9.
Guimarães et al. (2018) Diversity in dental clinical characteristics in Portuguese and Spanish military populations Spanish Journal of Legal Medicine 44(3): 99-107.
Guimarães et al. (2017) Forensic medicine and the military population: identification concerns, Acta Med Port 30(2):100-7.
Interpol, Disaster Victim Identification – Guide. Disponível em:
Kumar et al. (2021). Effect of postmortem interval and conditions of teeth on STR based DNA profiling from unidentified dead bodies. J Forensic Leg Med, 83, 102246.
Rossow. (2021). Illicit drug use and oral health. Addiction, 116(11), 3235-3242.
Lecturer (* Responsible):
Inês Guimarães (
Márcia Carvalho (