Dental Explorers Peek into Forensic Dentistry

With the popularity of the many Crime Scene Investigation programs on television, it was no surprise that members of the school’s Dental Explorer post were fascinated by a presentation on forensic dentistry by Michael McCunniff’, DDS, MS. Dr. McCunniff, an extensively trained and experienced forensic dentist, is an Associate Professor Emeritus, former chair of the Department of Dental Public Health and Behavioral Science and former Director of Outreach programs at University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Dentistry.

In his presentation, Dr. McCunniff shared that Forensic Dentistry is commonly used as the second option for identification of an individual in the absence of clear facial recognition. He is a member of a Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (DMORT). DMORT teams are include forensic anthropologists, odonatologists (dentists), pathologists, medical legal investigators, computer specialists, and other support personnel. He showed a number of examples where he was involved in forensic activities both in and out of the country where Americans DMORT teams were called in to help with identification. He also discussed several famous murder cases and investigations in the Kansas City area, including one fascinating case where he assisted homicide detectives identify a murder suspect.
The second segment of the Explorer Post event was led by Student National Dental Association/Hispanic Student Dental Association (SNDA/HSDA) members. They helped conduct mock admission interviews, which are key in the admission and ultimate candidate selection process.

SNDA/HSDA members participating included Kim Kha, Njeri Penda , Meredith Gomes, Lena Adams, Drew Chatters, Yasmeen Qadi, Safa Nawazish and Uyen Hoang. Faculty members Dr. Derek Williams, Dr. Tiffany Tavares and John Cottrell also assisted.

Find photos here.