Do you know how forensic odontologist classify tooth?

Forensic Odontology have described tooth: 1. Based on the Age of the Body. Permanent and Temporary Dentine 2. Based on the Differences in Morphology of


Shubham Kumar

1/29/20245 min read

If you are thinking that forensic odontologists only classify tooth as incisors, canines, premolars and molars, then let me correct you, it's not their way of classification. A forensic odontologist, when classify a tooth, they examine multiple aspects which are bit interesting. So as to uncover the telltale behind this mystery, keep reading this fascinating post.

Understanding the Classification and Morphology of Teeth under the Vision of Forensic Odontology

This informative blog includes the information required to understand the "Information related to classification, morphology of tooth and anatomy of tooth under the vision of forensic odontologists.". Please read it with patiently

In order to understand how forensic odontologist classify a tooth, first you need to understand, What exactly a Forensic Odontology is

Forensic Odontology is the branch of science, especially Forensic Medicine, that uses dental knowledge and scientific principles to analyze, identify, examine, and individualize dental evidence related to crime scenes or any unidentified bodies or remains, seeking justice in legal proceedings.


1. Body identification when other techniques like fingerprints and visual examination are not possible.
2. Detecting dental traumas or dental injuries.
3. Determining the age for examining the tooth.
4. Utilized in courts to justify the legality and credibility of dental evidence.

However, for forensic odontology, it's very important to understand the morphology of teeth because using dental knowledge in crime scene investigation can only be attained through a proper understanding of tooth morphology.

If you want to learn more in detail, you can refer: Forensic Odontology | All you need to Know!

Classification of Teeth | Forensic Odontology

The Classification of teeth refers to the study, description, and anatomy of the external form, features, and structure of teeth, including their shape, size, and various anatomical features. Teeth are essential components of the human oral cavity and play a crucial role in the process of mastication and speech. Understanding the morphology of teeth is vital for dental professionals, such as dentists and dental hygienists, as it allows them to diagnose oral health conditions, plan treatments, and provide proper dental care.

Human teeth have been classified into two types:

1. Based on the Age of the Body.
2. Based on the Differences in Morphology of Teeth.

Based on the age of the body | Forensic Odontology

On the basis of the age of the body, teeth are classified as: Temporary and permanent dentine

If you want to learn more in detail, you can refer: Know the difference between permanent and temporary dentine

Temporary Dentine | Forensic Odontology

Temporary dentine, also known as primary or baby dentin, is a crucial component of the human tooth that plays a vital role during the early stages of tooth development. Understanding temporary dentine is essential to comprehend the dental structure and its importance for children.

Temporary dentine has a total of 20 primary teeth, also known as baby teeth. These teeth start to erupt around the age of 6 months and continue until the child is about 2 to 3 years old. The eruption of these teeth is a natural part of tooth development.

Teeth are the hard, white structures in our mouths used for biting and chewing food. The process of tooth development begins long before we are born. Temporary dentine is the first type of dentine formed during this process.

Permanent Dentine | Forensic Odontology

Permanent dentine is also called adult dentine. It plays a vital role in our survival. Permanent dentine evolves from the temporary dentine.

It consists of 32 teeth in total.

If you want to learn more in detail, you can refer: Know the difference between permanent and temporary dentin.

Based on the Differences in Morphology of Teeth | Forensic Odontology

On the basis of structure, shape, size, and function of teeth, the tooth is classified into four types:

1. Incisors
2. Canines
3. Premolars
4. Molars

If you want to learn more in detail, you can refer: Morphology of tooth | All you need to know!


Incisors are the teeth used for cutting. Both the maxilla and mandible have 2 frontal incisors called central incisors and two more incisors along the sides of central incisors called lateral incisors. Incisors have a slightly constrained neck and a single root.

Temporary Dentine has 8 incisors. Four on maxilla and four on mandible. Permanent Dentine has 8 incisors. Four on maxilla and four on mandible.


They are sharp teeth specialized for cutting and tearing flesh. Canines are placed next to the lateral incisors in both the maxilla and mandible jaw. Canines have a sharp edge and a thin neck, a prime reason for their deep penetration and hard tearing of food and flesh we eat.

Permanent Dentine has 4 canines. Four on maxilla and four on mandible. Temporary Dentine has 4 canines. two on maxilla and two on mandible.


They are teeth with 2 cups on their heads, usually called as cuspids. Premolars are not found in temporary dentine but present in permanent dentine and are present after the canines. Premolars are smaller and shorter in size than the canines.

Temporary Dentine has 0 premolars. On the other hand, Permanent Dentine has 8 premolars. Four on maxilla and Four on mandible.


Molars are the biggest and largest among all the teeth in dentine. They have three to five cups on their heads usually called as tri-cuspids. In temporary dentine, molars are present behind the canines, but in permanent dentine, molars are present behind the 2nd premolars.

Temporary Dentine has 8 Molars. Four on maxilla and Four on mandible. Permanent Dentine has 12 molars. six on maxilla and sex on mandible.

If you want to learn more in detail, you can refer: Morphology of tooth | All you need to know.

Anatomy of Tooth | Forensic Odontology

  • Crown: the part of the tooth visible in the mouth.

  • Neck: the constricted area of the crown and tooth.

  • Enamel: the outer part of the crown, the hardest tissue in our body. It helps in chewing and grinding.

  • Dentine: below the enamel, it consists of organic components made up of tubules and is covered by enamel in the crown portion and cementum in the root portion. Any exposed part of the tooth can cause sensitivity due to enamel or cementum decay.

  • Cementum: the hard tissue covering the root portion of the dentine. It may contain cells in some areas and may not in others.

  • Pulp chamber: the innermost portion of the tooth that contains nerves and blood vessels. It provides nourishment and helps in dentine formation. It can cause severe pain and infection and may require root canal treatment.

  • Alveolar bone: part of the mandible and maxillae that surrounds and supports the tooth and gums. The soft tissue covering around the teeth covers the alveolar bone. Infection at the gum level may cause bleeding, swelling, pus, and discharge due to the deposit of calculus, plaque, or improper brushing techniques.

  • Periodontal ligament: tissue ligaments that attach the tooth to the base at the root level. It helps the tooth withstand biting force through a

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  • "The Forensic Casebook: The Science of Crime Scene Investigation" by Ngaire E. Genge

  • "Forensic Science: A Very Short Introduction" by Jim Fraser

  • "Practical Crime Scene Processing and Investigation" by Ross M. Gardner