Diploma en Odontología Legal y Forense

Type of programme
Specialization courses
2 semesters
250,00 € / ECTS x 8 = 2.000,00 €* (1st year 2020-2021) *Subject to change each year
January 2020 to June 2021. Online part: every Thursday. Onsite Class: from 28th of June to 3h of July of 2021
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Forensic Dentistry is the study of resolving legal problems by applying dental knowledge. This science has an ever-increasingly broader scope which covers issues raised in civil, criminal and labour law. Dental knowledge and techniques are used to resolve issues in these fields or else contribute towards their solution. Most cases require knowledge of dental trauma, dental prostheses, dental surgery or the basic science on which dental knowledge is based.

Dentistry plays a key role in human identification. It is necessary as much from the human as the legal perspective.   In cases of catastrophic events, the question of identification is one of the most relevant medical-legal issues. It is essential for the professionals involved in resolving such cases to know the appropriate techniques and protocols for both isolated and large-scale incidents.  

Even though dental identification needs to be used simultaneously alongside other identification techniques (fingerprints or forensic genetics), it offers the advantage of being a quick, effective, scientific and economical method of great importance to identification in major disasters.

Knowing the legal regulations governing the exercise of our profession is important for good medical practice in that professional complaints against dentists are rising on a daily basis making it even more important to be aware of the regulations governing dentistry.   

Course objectives

  1. To learn how to solve problems that arise in circumstances of disaster and major catastrophes as well as in isolated cases in which dentistry is necessary for solving the case.
  2. To gain experience of Interpol's forms from a dentistry perspective.
  3. To acquire adequate knowledge on the main aspects of human identification, criminology, forensic genetics, and forensic anthropology.
  4. To acquire knowledge of the methods to follow in cases of needing to identify living people, corpses, or human remains.
  5. To learn how to apply forensic techniques in cases required by the courts.
  6. To acquire knowledge about situations provided for in law in respect of the different forms of death, especially violent or criminally suspicious death.
  7. To learn the circumstances in which a post-mortem is compulsory.
  8. To acquire sufficient knowledge to be able to solve problems arising in relation to the administration of justice.
  9. To provide the necessary knowledge to be able to practice dentistry, especially the legal aspects of performing the profession.
  10. To appreciate the value of a clinical history as a document of interest for healthcare, scientific and medico-legal purposes.
  11. To know how to assess dental damage. Evaluation scales.
  12. To learn how to make a medico-legal assessment of malpractice in dentistry.
  13. To know the basic legislation as it applies to practicing the profession.
  14. To draw up expert reports.

Aimed at

Professionals related to Dentistry, Biology, Medicine and Criminology as well as members of the State security forces and bodies, Regional Police, health emergency centres, Civil Protection and emergencies staff, dental hygienists.



Course coordinators

  • Dra. Anna Hospital
  • Dr. Francisco Javier Güerri
  • Dr. José María Martínez-Calcerrada


  1. Introduction to Forensic Dentistry. Learn about the origins of dentistry research within the framework of facts and factors that make the cause and effect of the law clear; as well as dentistry action and professional ethics. Evolution of forensic dentistry. 
  2. Thanatology. To differentiate the various causes of death, as well as the destructive and preservation processes of the cadaver. Cadaver phenomena. Dental autopsy techniques. Role of the dentist in medico-legal autopsies. 
  3. Forensic pathology. To raise awareness of the different injuries, how they are produced or caused, their study and manipulation.  Forensic pathology of interest to dentists. 
  4. Criminalistics. Establish the difference between criminalistics and criminology, as well as raise awareness of the methods and protocols that help in the identification and reconstruction of facts.  Reconstructive and comparative identification. Importance of dentistry in criminal research.  Cheiloscopy and rugoscopy.  Study of human bites, system to be used for the study.  Determination of age based on dental records. 
  5. Forensic anthropology. Raise awareness of the importance of anthropology and also establish a basis for knowledge in order to start to work on the identification of remains using dental anthropology. Determination of biological profile based on maxillary bones. Pathology, pseudopathology and taphonomy. 
  6. Legal dentistry. Legal rules to exercise dentistry. Professional responsibility. Medical record. Professional secrecy. Medical and legal documents.
  7. Organisation and management of Large Disasters.  Raising awareness of and teaching people how to act in a disaster in order to find a solution to the huge amount of chaos that ensues.  Medico-legal problems in disasters.  Action protocol.  Dental identification protocol. 

Practical work experience will be undertaken.  

  • System to be followed in the case of identifying catastrophes. 
  • Interpol disaster victim identification protocol. 
  • Filling in Interpol forms for identification purposes. 
  • Systems to be followed when studying a human bite. 
  • Study of maxillaries. Reconstructive and comparative identification.  Macroscopic dentistry photography. 
  • Methodology to undertake an expert report with a discussion of practical cases. 
  •  Psycho-forensic techniques to deal with a dental expert trial in court.  

1. Introduction to forensic dentistry

  • Concept and definition.
  • Importance and objectives.
  • History and current situation. 

2. Thanatology

  • Concept of death.
  • Diagnosis of certain death.
  • Types of death.
  • Legal and criminal classification of violent death.
  • Cadaveric phenomena.
  • Destructive processes of the corpse.
  • Natural processes for the conservation of corpses.
  • Artificial processes for eh conservation of corpses.
  • Thanatological medico-legal problems.
  • Natural death and violent death.
  • Clinical and judicial post-mortem.
  • Post-mortem techniques.
  • Post-mortem stages.
  • Odontostomatological post-mortems. 

3. Forensic pathology

  • Fatal injuries.
  • Non-fatal injuries.
  • Types of violent death.
  • Sudden death.
  • Bruises and contusions.
  • Asphyxia.
  • Injuries caused by explosions.
  • Injuries in carbonized bodies. Dental changes caused by fire.
  • Nuclear accidents.
  • Major toxic catastrophes and mass poisonings. Chemical weapons. 

4. Criminalistics

  • Overview of human identification.
  • Reconstructive and comparative identification.
  • Human identification: methods.
  • Fingerprinting.
  • The importance of dentistry in criminal investigation and human identification.
  • Cheiloscopy and rugoscopy.
  • Identification methods in the investigation of living beings, skeletons and fresh corpses.
  • Forensic genetics.
  • Medico-legal investigation of bites. Method to follow in its study.  

5. Forensic anthropology

  • Generic and specific investigation of skeletal remains.
  • Determining species, population group, size, gender.
  • Biological profile. 

6. Legal dentistry

  • Professional responsibility.
  • Medico-legal documentation.
  • Assessment of odontostomatalogical damage.
  • Medical confidentiality.
  • Expert evidence. 

7. Healthcare, organizational and medico-forensic problems in situations of major catastrophes

  • Healthcare assistance: function of the emergency coordination centre.
  • Triage, evacuation, emergency assistance.
  • Organisational problems.
  • Organisation and action plan for Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Firefighters, Civil Protection and Security Forces.
  • Medico-legal problems of the victims of major catastrophes.
  • Organisation, objectives, and general protocols for the performance of Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) teams during major catastrophes.
  • Forensic medical procedure in the post-mortem room.
  • Identification protocol for major disasters.
  • Dental protocol for major disasters.
  • Interpol forms used in dental identification.


Study programme and subjects 2020-2021

Subjects in course 1 Type Term ECTS
Diploma en Odontología Legal y Forense Type: OB Term: Annual ECTS: 8
  • ECTS: European Credit Transfer System
  • Term: calendar period
  • (a): subjects which are taught in English


Eneko Barbería Marcalain Forensic pathologist. Deputy Director of the Catalan IMLCF (Institute of Forensic Medicine and Forensic Sciences) (Tarragona division). Lecturer in the Faculty of Medicine at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili.

David Bas Mato. Clerk in the Courts of Los Realejos. Santa Cruz de Tenerife Courts of Justice.

Josep Carreras. Head of the Scientific Police Division’s Biological Laboratory. Mossos d’Esquadra Police Force.

Josep M. Casadesús Valbí. Forensic pathologist. Lecturer in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Girona.

Josep Castellà García. Forensic pathologist. Head of the Forensic Pathology Service, IMLCF Catalonia. 

Dolors Ceperuelo. Holder of an undergraduate degree in Dentistry. Postgraduate studies in Legal and Forensic Dentistry. Lecturer at Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Santiago Crespo Alonso. Forensic pathologist. Anthropology Service, IMLCF Catalonia. 

Joaquim de Diego Martínez. Holder of a Master’s in Civil Protection and Emergency Management. Sergeant in the Mossos d’Esquadra Police Force. Operational and technical support. Police Resource Command Centre, Girona.

Ignasi Galtés Vicente. Forensic pathologist Head of Research and Teaching, IMLCF Catalonia.

Angel García García. Psychologist. Chief inspector in the National Police Force.

José Gonzalez Godino. Doctor specialised in maxillofacial surgery.

Jaume Heredia. EMS doctor.

Anna Hospital Ribas. Forensic pathologist. Holder of an undergraduate degree in Dentistry. Specialised in Forensic Dentistry. Lecturer at the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya.

Santi López. Corporal in the Missing Person Investigation Unit. Mossos d’Esquadra Police Force. 

Álex Martí Mato. Dentist. Oral surgery.

Carles Martin Fumado. Forensic pathologist. Lecturer at the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya.

Helena Martínez Alcazar. Forensic pathologist. Assigned to the Pathology Service. Anthropologist, IMLCF Catalonia.

Daniel Martínez Ortega.  Deputy chief of the Scientific Police Division. Mossos d’Esquadra Police Force.

José M. Martínez Calcerrada Collell. Holder of an undergraduate degree in Pharmacy and a Master’s in Biomedicine and Molecular Biology. Expert in Forensic Pathology, IMLCF Catalonia (Girona Division). 

Alexandra Pérez. Holder of an undergraduate degree in Health Biology. Holder of a master’s degree in Neuroscience. Postdoctoral Centre for Cardiovascular Genetics (IdIBGi).

Consuelo Pérez Luengo. Forensic pathologist. Director of IMLCF Balearic Islands. Holder of an undergraduate degree in Dentistry.

Maria del Mar Salvador. Doctor specialised in body damage assessment. Dentist.

Pere Sánchez. Inspector in the Missing Person Investigation Unit. Mossos d’Esquadra Police Force.

Elisabeth Soler Gomis. Holder of an undergraduate degree in Law. MBA. Dentist. 

Manel Subirats Roca Clinical psychologist. Specialised in macro and forensic photography.

Robert Trench García. Head of the Scientific Police Division’s Central Identification Unit. Mossos d’Esquadra Police Force. 

Prerequisites & admissions

Prerequisites and admissions

To be professionals related to Dentistry, Biology, Medicine and Criminology as well as members of the State security forces and bodies, Regional Police, health emergency centres, Civil Protection and emergencies staff, dental hygienists.



Informació i admissions

Sra. Cristina Junquera
Sra. Paola Lago