Forensic odontology

Forensic odontology is a branch of forensic medicine and is included in the operation of the Forensic Medicine Unit of THL.

Forensic odontologist’s tasks include

  • identifying human remains
  • age assessments of asylum seekers
  • maintenance of competencies in case of disasters through participation in the activities of the Disaster Victim Identification unit of the National Bureau of Investigation
  • carrying out oral and jaw area investigations related to determining the cause of death and criminal investigations
  • issuing other expert statements as requested by public authorities

Identifying deceased on the basis of dental records

According to the classification of the International Criminal Police Organization Interpol, dental identification is, along with DNA and fingerprint analyses, one of the main methods of identifying human remains.

A forensic dental examination of a deceased includes a clinical and X-ray examination. These findings are compared with the dental records of missing persons.

Forensic age assessment of an asylum seeker

THL is responsible for carrying out age tests of foreign asylum seekers or sponsors at the request of the Finnish Immigration Service.

A forensic age assessment may be carried out, if public authorities have reason to doubt the credibility of the information provided about the age of the asylum seeker.

Aliens Act 301/2004 (Finlex)

Contact details

Jaana Hurnanen
Forensic Odontologist
tel. +358 29 524 7695
e-mail: jaana.hurnanen(at)

Mari Metsäniitty
Forensic Odontologist
tel. +358 29 524 7039
e-mail: mari.metsaniitty(at)

Sanna Johansson
Forensic Odontologist
tel. +358 29 524 8220
e-mail: sanna.johansson(at)