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The Process of Forensic Dentistry

A general dentist based in New York City, Dr. Adam K. Smith has led a busy private practice for 30 years. Trained at the New York University College of Dentistry, Adam K. Smith stands out as the first dental student to complete the Armed Forces Institute’s forensic dentistry course.

Characterized by the identification of dental records, forensic dentistry serves two purposes: it helps officials determine the identity of someone who has died, and it assists in the identification of crime suspects. In the case of post-mortem identification, forensic dentists thoroughly examine each tooth and compare their findings with the dental records of suspected matches.

In the absence of dental records, however, forensic dentists may search for notable characteristics such as crowns or missing teeth, which can help loved ones make a positive identification. As a further resource for identification, forensic dentists may extract DNA from the pulp of the tooth (assuming the pulp remains undamaged by fire or other causes of death).

Identifying crime suspects by dental records usually involves examining bite marks left by the perpetrator. Once the bite is confirmed as being from a human, investigators take DNA samples of the area to obtain trace amounts of saliva. Forensic dentists then measure and photograph the bite mark. These findings are then compared to a mold of the suspect’s teeth, which must be obtained under warrant.


U.S. Oral Health on Upward Trend By Adam K. Smith, DDS

Americans are keeping their natural teeth longer and generally report good oral health, according to a study by the Aquafresh Science Academy. The study looked at oral health trends over the past five years.

A number of factors appear to play a role in the general improvement in oral health, the article said. These include better education, improved standards of dental care, new products, and fluoride in the water system and some brands of toothpaste.

In addition to these factors, studies find that the recent move toward preventive dental care has had an even bigger impact on improved oral health. Beginning oral education at younger ages has helped reduce the need for false teeth and extractions later in life.

The study also found that Americans tend to equate good oral health with good health overall, as well as with self-esteem. Many Americans regard poor oral hygiene as a symptom of general disregard for personal hygiene. It is also seen as tremendously embarrassing.

About the author: A graduate of the NYU College of Dentistry, Adam K. Smith heads his own private dental practice in New York City.

Studies Find Healthy Gums Lead to Numerous Health Benefits

More than helping people retain their teeth, maintaining healthy gums leads to a number of overall health benefits, according to an article on For example, some studies show a link between cardiovascular problems and chronic inflammation of the gums.

Healthy gums may also play a role in memory. A report in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry found that adults with gingivitis, which is marked by swollen, bleeding gums, scored worse on tests measuring memory and other cognitive functioning.

People with good oral health may also benefit from a reduced risk of infection and inflammation. Gum disease has been associated with arthritis, for example.

Finally, maintaining good oral health helps keep blood-sugar levels stable in people with diabetes. One of the side effects of diabetes is a reduced ability to fight infection, including infections of the gums. Such infections make it more difficult to maintain proper blood-sugar levels.

About the author: A Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, Adam K. Smith maintains a private practice with locations in Manhattan and the Bronx.

Adam K. Smith, DDS on the Benefits of Dental Implants

dental implant

A general and cosmetic dentist in New York City for more than 30 years, Dr. Adam K. Smith provides the full spectrum of dental treatments, including dental implant restorations. Dental implants offer several advantages over fixed bridges, partial dentures, and complete dentures.

Dental implants, which are artificial tooth roots made of biocompatible titanium, are placed in the jawbone and, after a period of healing, are topped with a dental restoration. One implant can support a single replacement tooth, and two or more implants can support a dental bridge or a denture.

Replacing teeth with dental implants offers a more stable and long-lasting fix than bridges and dentures without compromising the structure of remaining healthy teeth. Implants look and function like natural teeth because they are permanently anchored in the jaw.

This tooth-replacement method also helps preserve the health of the jawbone tissue by providing the same type of stimulation to the bone as a natural tooth root, preventing the bone resorption and collapsed facial appearance often seen in patients who wear dentures.

The Pros and Cons of Teeth Whitening

Growing in popularity, whitening is a quick fix to dull teeth. Dentists, such as Adam K. Smith, offer a number of techniques to produce a whiter, brighter smile both in-office and at-home. However, learning the pros and cons of the procedure beforehand will benefit patients in making the best decision for themselves.

Whitening is a simple method to brighten dull and stained teeth. Often times, whiter teeth are associated with a healthier lifestyle. The treatment is used to increase confidence, take attention away from signs of aging, and facilitate a friendly appearance. The procedure itself consists of either wearing customized trays filled with whitening gel for as little as an hour a day at home, or a stronger gel treatment in-office.

While a brilliant white smile is desirable, there are some points to consider before deciding upon a whitening treatment. The bleaching chemical can cause sore teeth and gums, and result in a sensitivity to hot and cold foods. However, the discomfort usually ends when the bleaching is discontinued, and normal eating habits can resume. Teeth whitening can also be expensive depending upon which treatment is used; therefore it is important to be educated on the prices of each technique.

Teeth whitening procedures usually produce exceptional results in a short time, but it must be done continuously to maintain the brightest smile possible. Dentists, like Adam K. Smith, typically offer more than one whitening option. Having a conversation with your dentist about desired outcomes and concerns is the best place to start in the quest for whiter teeth.

An Overview of Restorative, Implant, and Extraction Services, Provided by Adam K. Smith, DDS

Since 1983, Adam K. Smith, DDS, has overseen his private dental practice in New York. A Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, he aims to provide his patients with a high level of compassion and consideration that allows them to be more comfortable in the clinical setting. Adam K. Smith, DDS, performs several types of dental procedures, including restorations, implants, tooth extractions, and cosmetic services. The following article describes the general dentistry options provided by Adam K. Smith, DDS.

1. Restorations. The services aim to treat tooth decay and other physical problems. Adam Smith, DDS, provides fillings, porcelain inlays and onlays, crowns, fixed bridges, and root canal therapy.
2. Fillings. When a person develops a cavity, Adam K. Smith, DDS, takes out the decayed tooth mass and replaces it with a filling, which is made of either silver or composite resin.
3. Porcelain Inlays and Onlays. In some cases, a filling may not suffice. Porcelain inlays or onlays are used to cover the surface of the tooth in case of progressed decay.
4. Porcelain Crowns. In this procedure, a porcelain crown is attached to a tooth that is chipped, cracked, or decayed. After the dental laboratory makes the porcelain or gold crown, it is attached to the problem tooth and is virtually indistinguishable.
5. Porcelain Fixed Bridges. A solution for those who are missing a tooth, a fixed bridge is set into the empty space and secured by the two surrounding teeth.
6. Root Canal Therapy. Those who have an infected root pulp will go through this procedure in which the dentist removes the pulp and replaces it with a sealant.
7. Implants. Those who are missing teeth may consider using implants instead of bridges or dentures. Implants are fused to the bone, providing a solid foundation for the single tooth implant or implant denture.
8. Tooth Extraction. Adam K. Smith, DDS, performs tooth extractions for those who have issues with their wisdom teeth, experience a severe infection, or need a routine extraction.