Delhi will get its first forensic dental laboratory by the end of this year.
So far forensic team of city hospitals roped in dentists to study dead bodies in criminal cases to identify sex, age, possible time of death. Now, the Delhi government will have its own specialized lab dedicated to forensic study to aid investigating agencies.
"While forensic dentistry is well established in the west, in India it is an emerging field. It is also the need of the day to train present day doctors in this specialized field," said Dr Mahesh Verma, director and principal, Maulana Azad Institute of Dental Sciences (MAIDS).
The forensic dentistry department of the hospital is part of the expansion plan of the existing dental college. The new 12-storied building, to be built at an approximate cost of R50 crore, adjoining the existing dental hospital, will also have a 24-hour dental emergency unit, which was so far non-existent.
"All hospitals have a casualty unit to take care of emergencies but there was a need for a focused dental emergency unit. We are hoping to bridge that gap," said Dr Verma.
The new building will also have departments for research and development (R&D), dental radiology, anaesthesiology, oral and maxillofacial surgery and community dentistry.
"So far, dentists in India devote most of the time in clinical practice and there is no thrust to research and development, so doctors are forced to go abroad to quench their thirst for academics. Since we are a teaching institute, a R&D department will go a long way in boosting research," said Dr Verma. The building would also have bigger Library and recreation facility for students and faculty.
"Our clinical side was also burdened. We had never envisaged a daily footfall of 1,500 patients, hence expanding our existing facility, adding ICU beds, wards, PG Clinics and laboratories was very much needed," said Dr Verma.
The expansion, he said, will also help in creating additional infrastructure requirement for mandatory increase of 28% OBC seats in all central universities as per government policy.