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The Missouri Emergency Response Identification Team (MERIT) is a statewide forensic dental team. It was born out of the "Great Flood of 1993," during which a small-town Missouri cemetery was washed away and required that scores of bodies be identified for re-interment. A cadre of forensic dentists was called in to perform forensic identification, mostly from outside the state. To provide a Missouri resource for such disasters in the future, a state dental forensic team was formed. Each year MERIT team members meet for a continuing education and an annual meeting. You are not required to be a member of the MERIT team to attend the CE course. The program is open to dentists, auxiliaries, students or anyone interested in learning about the MERIT program.

2014 Event Details

  • January 25, 2014
  • Located at MDA Executive Office. $75 Per Registrant. The day includes continental breakfast, lecture in the morning, lunch and hands-on workshop in the afternoon!
  • Speakers: John Filippi DDS, D-ABFO and Eric Wilson, DDS, D-ABFO will present the course "Forensic Odontology and Dental ID Workshop".

Course Overview

This course will provide a series of lectures including an overview of Forensic Odontology utilizing numerous individual case examples for positive dental identifications. Additional presentations will also include Mass Fatality Dental ID Operations, the NAMUS (Missing &Unidentified Persons Systems) and limited discussions on Bite mark analysis. The afternoon presentation will include a break out session with a "hands-on" Dental ID Lab Workshop.

Course Objectives:

  • Learn basic introductory concepts regarding the utilization of Forensic Odontology for positive dental identifications.
  • Explain how Odontology is a valuable Forensic Science to local communities, as well as in a Mass Fatality Incident for obtaining positive identification(s) for victim families.
  • Illustrate how Forensic Odontology works to support a ME/Coroner Office, and coordinating with other Forensic Sciences, to include, DNA, Pathology, Anthropology and Fingerprint, subject matter experts for scientific biometric identifications.
  • Inform attendees of additional courses and professional organizations available to pursue further study of Forensic Dentistry.


Dr. John Filippi received his DDS in 1980 from Creighton University and resides in Omaha, Neb. He has been actively involved in forensic dental investigations since 1983. He is a Fellow in the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) and is board certified (2006) and a Diplomate of the American Board of Forensic Odontology (ABFO). His first participation in a Mass Fatality Incident was in 1989 with UAL Flight 232 in Sioux City, Iowa. He has since been deployed multiple times with the Federal Teams as a forensic odontologist, to assist with mass fatality dental identifications for WTC/911, Hurricane Katrina and most recently the Joplin, Mo. Tornado Disaster. He is a forensic dental consultant for Douglas County Nebraska Coroner's Office and for the Jackson County Medical Examiner's Office in Kansas City. Dr. Filippi is a member of and has served on the Board of Governors for the American Society of Odontology (ASFO). He is currently on the Board of Directors for the American Board of Forensic Odontology (ABFO). Dr. Filippi is a member of the International Association of Identification (IAI) and an affiliate member of the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME). He is also one of two Regional Forensic Odontologists in the country for the National Association of Missing and Unidentified System.

Dr. Eric Wilson received his DDS in 1991 from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. He is a member of the ADA and MDA, and has served as President of the Central Dental Society and Chair of the MDA committee on dental education. He is a Diplomat of the American Board of Forensic Odontology and a fellow in the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. He has also served on the Board of Governors of the American Society of Forensic Odontology. He is co-chair of MERIT and has been on the team since its inception in 1996. He has served as a Forensic Odontologist on the Region VII DMORT team since 1998. He has been deployed by DMORT to New York, NY after 9/11, American Airlines crash in Kirksville, Mo. (2003), Hurricane Katrina (2005), Hurricane Ike (2008), and the Joplin, Mo. Tornado Disaster (2011). Dr. Wilson currently works with the Missouri Disaster Response System, is the lead forensic odontologist and continues his private forensic practice with the St. Louis City Medical Examiner's Office. He has been appointed to the Mass Fatality Advisory Committee for Missouri and to Congresswoman Vicky Hartsler's Health Care Advisory Committee. Dr. Wilson maintains a full-time private practice in Cole Camp, Mo. and Versailles, Mo.


If you have questions about this meeting or any other events hosted by the MDA please contact Mandy Lewis or call 573-634-3436.


The Missouri Dental Association is an ADA CERP Recognized Provider. ADA CERP is a service of the American Dental Association to assist dental professionals in identifying quality providers of continuing dental education. ADA CERP does not approve or endorse individual courses or instructors, nor does it imply acceptance of credit hours by boards of dentistry. Concerns or complaints about a CE provider may be directed to the provider or to ADA CERP at www.ada.org/cerp. The Missouri Dental Association designates this activity for 7 continuing education credits.

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