Photograph Protocol

• Anatomical location of bite mark (and identification of bitten person).

• Victim in same position as when bitten (when possible).

• Close up of bite mark without scales (nothing is being hidden) in color and black and white (in addition, black and white with a green filter may be useful).

• Close up of bite mark with scales in color and black and white (in addition, black and white with a green filter may be useful). Scales should be close to injury but not so close as to obscure the injury.

Note: scales should be in the same plane as the bite mark.

• Photograph with the scales and injury parallel to the film plane (right angles to injury).

• Each dental arch may need to be photographed separately when on a curved surface.

• Repeat at intervals.

• Consider ultraviolet photography for older injuries that may no longer be visible. Ultimately, the forensic dentist will select the best photographs and have them reproduced to life-size (1:1) for analysis and comparison work. At the time of writing, conventional film photography is still widely used, but the use of digital photography is progressing rapidly. Whatever the future brings, it is essential that standards, protocols, and appropriate training are in place.

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