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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 local 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.

Annual MERIT Meeting, January 31, 2015

Gary M. Berman, DDS, DABFO will present the course Forensic Odontology in the Medical Examiner's Office—Beyond Dental Identification. This full-day workshop will consist of both lecture and some limited hands-on exercises. It will also include a continental breakfast and lunch.

  • Location: MDA Executive Office, 3340 American Avenue, Jefferson City
  • Date: Saturday, January 31, 2015
  • Schedule: 7:30am Registration; 8am to 4pm CE Course
  • CE Hours: 7.5 hours
  • Fee: $75

Course Registration

This meeting is at capacity and registration is closed. thank you.

Hotel Information

For those who need hotel rooms, a block of rooms has been reserved at the Hampton Inn in Jefferson City for January 30, 2015. Room rates are $89/night. The hotel provides a Deluxe Continental Breakfast, indoor pool and fitness center. The hotel reservation number is 573-634-7440. Please make your reservation by December 30, 2014 and state that you are with the Missouri Dental Association to receive the special rate.

Course Details

Forensic Odontology in the Medical Examiner's Office—Beyond Dental Identification

This full day workshop will consist of both lecture and some limited hands on exercises.

Bitemark Documentation, Bitemark Analysis, and Bitemark Comparison Techniques

  • In a series of hands on exercises, the value and limitations of bitemark comparisons will be demonstrated. The forensic odontologist will need to make the determination if the patterned injuries are indeed human bitemarks, and if so, whether they can actually link them to one of several suspects.

Dental Age Estimation

  • The forensic odontologist’s understanding of dental age estimation will be put to a challenge in attempting to determine the dental age in a couple of real forensic identification cases. This will be done with photographic and radiographic images provided.

Course Objectives:

  • Understand the purpose and value of forensic dental age estimation in a variety of medicolegal situations.
  • Acquire a fundamental knowledge of the formation and growth, post-formation, and bio-chemical techniques used in dental age estimation.
  • Understand the history of Bitemark analysis, the seminal legal cases associated and its current application and controversy in our legal system.
  • Understand the ABFO bitemark analysis and comparison decision tree.
  • Understand the documentation, analysis and comparison techniques used.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Gary Berman is a Board Certified Forensic Odontologist on staff at the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s office (Detroit), and a Forensic Odontology consultant to Sparrow Forensic Pathology Services, Genesse County Medical Examiner, Washtenaw County Medical Examiner and the Oakland County Medical Examiner’s office. Dr. Berman serves as the Morgue Operations leader for the MiMORT (Michigan Mortuary Operations Response Team) and is on its advisory committee. He is also a member of DMORT Region V and a member of Kenyan International, and is the assistant team leader of the Michigan Dental Association’s Forensic Dental Identification Team and a member of its “Go Team”.

Dr. Berman is a Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences. He is currently the President-elect of the American Board of Forensic Odontology. He is a past Chair of the Odontology Section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and is a past president of the American Society of Forensic Odontology. Dr. Berman is also a Fellow of the International College of Dentists and the Academy of General Dentistry He was named as “Dentist Citizen of the Year” in 2006 by the Detroit District Dental Society for his work during the Hurricane Katrina disaster. He also received the “Dentist Citizen of the Year” award by the Michigan Dental Association in 2002 for his work during the World Trade Center disaster.

In addition to his Forensic Odontology consulting, Dr. Berman helps teach a bi-yearly Forensic Dentistry course for the University of Detroit Mercy Dental School at the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office. He has also taught Mass Disaster courses throughout the U.S. including Indiana, Nebraska, Missouri, Colorado, Florida, South Carolina, Ohio, Michigan and in Ontario, Canada.


If you have questions about this meeting 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 7.5 continuing education credits.

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