Gandhinagar: As part of efforts to help resolve identification issues, a University here will soon start a course in forensic odontology, to guide investigators in quickly solving criminal cases with the accurate study of teeth.

“Gujarat Forensic Science University will start a new masters’ course in forensic odontology, through which the critical identity mystery will be solved more accurately and effectively in least time,” GFSU Director Dr J M Vyas told PTI.

Forensic odontology, an application of dentistry, will be a boon for medico-legal sector in DNA identification, to ascertain health status, access one’s age and to nab criminals in cases of assault, said Dr M S Dahiya, Director of Institute of Forensic Science (IFS) at the varsity.

“The course will help medico-legal investigation in both civil and criminal cases. In cases of mass fatalities, there always arises a problem of identifying the bodies. But this new comprehensive course will be helpful for the experts to solve that identity mystery,” Dahiya said.

GFSU will enrol about 15 students, who have cleared their Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS), in the first batch and later on will also encourage the students to take up research and development in the field, Vyas said.

“For the first time in the country, a Gujarat-based university will provide a two-year masters course in forensic odontology,” he said.

“Till now, a Karnataka-based university provided post-graduate diploma in forensic odontology while at the global-level there are only two universities in the UK and Australia which are running such a type of course,” he said.

A forensic odontologist can also conduct a study on the community health services, Dahiya said.

By studying one’s tooth enamel, experts can find out the health status of that person. There are places where people come in contact with hazardous chemicals. This study can help in detecting the harmful chemicals and save people from such exposures, he said.

Forensic odontology involved the study of lips, teeth and palate. It is a non-invasive method of study, IFS Prof RajeshBabu said.

Teeth are the hardest part of the body which remain intact even after many years of death, therefore this study can be helpful in investigations taken up at a later stage. Besides, the age of a person can also be known through his denture, he said.

Those who study forensic odontology can later take up teaching in the field or provide their expertise in civil and criminal cases, he added.

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