TODS FEATURED SPEAKER

DENTISTRY AND FORENSIC SCIENCE: THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE FASCINATING

Dr. Dirk van der Meer

Session Date:  Friday October 20, 2023

Session Time:  8:30 AM – 12 PM

Presenter Name: Dr. Dirk van der Meer

Outline:

From identification of human remains to assessment of bitemark injuries, the human dentition provides important clues to help solve forensic puzzles. Dentistry has long played an important role in forensic science and this presentation will provide an introduction to the many aspects of forensics that utilize dentistry to help solve cases. The discussion will include disaster victim identification, criminal cases, age estimation, historical cases and fascinating forensic facts. An update on local forensic odontology activities in British Columbia will be discussed. 

LEARNING OBJECTIVES: 

  • Obtain an introductory understanding of forensic science 
  • Learn how dentistry is utilized in forensic science 
  • Review forensic dentistry casework, including identification and bitemark analysis 
  • Review historical forensic cases 
  • Learn fun, fascinating forensic trivia 
  • Learn how the British Columbia forensic odontology team (FORT BC Society) provides valuable forensic services on provincial, national and international levels 

BC RDH QAP – F1

About The Speaker

Dr. Dirk van der Meer graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry in 1988 and a Doctor of Medical Dentistry in 1992. He has over 30 years of clinical dentistry experience. He completed a Fellowship in Forensic Odontology from the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio in 2010 and a Masters of Science in Forensic Science from the University of Florida in 2016. Other forensic courses include the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, DC, Medicolegal Death Investigation at the University of St. Louis and the Southwest Symposium on Forensic Dentistry in San Antonio. He is a board certified forensic odontologist with the American Board of Forensic Odontology (ABFO). Dr. van der Meer has given forensic presentations nationally and internationally and has published forensic articles in the Journal of Forensic Sciences and the Journal of the Canadian Society of Forensic Science.  

Dr. van der Meer is a member of the Canadian Society of Forensic Science, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and the American Society of Forensic Odontology (ASFO) and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Odontology. He currently serves on the ASFO Nominating Committee, the ASFO Research Committee, the ABFO Articles and Bylaws Committee and the ABFO Certification and Examination Committee. He is a past member of the Board of Governors for the American Society of Forensic Odontology and has served as Chair of the ASFO Research Committee (2020-2023). He has also served as a Canadian representative to INTERPOL Disaster Victim Identification Forensic Odontology Working Group in Lyon and Singapore. Dr. van der Meer is the Chief Forensic Odontologist for the Province of British Columbia and is the president of the Forensic Odontology Response Team BC Society (FORT BC Society). 

Dr. van der Meer works with the British Columbia Coroners Service to help in the identification of human remains. He also works with police agencies in the analysis and comparison of bitemarks and in the estimation of age. Dr. van der Meer was a member of the Canadian forensic team that was deployed to Thailand for the INTERPOL response to assist in the identification of victims of the 2004 Asian tsunami. Dr. van der Meer is actively involved as a course coordinator and instructor for forensic odontology disaster victim identification training courses for Canadian and international identification specialists. 

 

Dr. Dirk van der Meer