Dr. Joe Gentile 1930-2019 in Memoriam

This picture demonstrates the man we all knew and loved.  »

Workshops Now Available

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Dr. Greg Golden 1949-2018 In Memoriam

In Memoriam: Dr. Greg Golden 1949-2018   Life seems to  »

Updated 3/19/2019 – President’s Message

Check out Dr. David Senn’s President’s message here.

president’s message

President’s Message

March 19, 2019


Dr. Edward Herschaft should have written this message. Unfortunately, Ed’s health has made it impossible for him to become the 40th ABFO Diplomate to serve as the organization’s President. On behalf of the membership of the American Board of Forensic Odontology I thank Ed for his many years of service to the ABFO. His counsel, eloquence, and iconoclastic humor will be sorely missed. Hopefully Ed’s health problems will be resolved quickly and completely.


ABFO Bylaws stipulate that only a current Director who has previously served as Secretary or Treasurer can become President under these circumstances. The Nominating Committee chaired by Dr. Adam Freeman tapped Tom David and me as the candidates to complete Dr. Herschaft’s term. The somewhat complex requirements and Tom’s distinctive campaign speech have resulted in my becoming your President for 2019-20. I accept the challenge with great humility and vow to work hard to continue the positive momentum that other capable ABFO Presidents and Directors have so ably generated.


One of those skillful Presidents was Dr. Greg Golden, the friend and colleague we so suddenly and tragically lost last year. Dr. Dick Weems wrote movingly and accurately about Greg in his last President’s Message for 2018. I echo Dick’s tribute to Greg…an extraordinary forensic dentist, valued friend, and gentleman.


For now, and looking forward, congratulations are in order for many of our gifted members. Continuing the recent and welcome growth of the ABFO we welcome the two outstanding individuals who recently and successfully challenged the ABFO certification examinations. Our newest Diplomates are Dr. Sylvain Desranleau of Mont-Saint Hilaire, Quebec and Dr. Mark Eilers of Portland Oregon. We congratulate and welcome you both and look forward to many years of collaboration.


Mark and Sylvain join us a year after we welcomed six new Diplomates in 2018. I am happy to report that the outlook for 2020 also seems bright with an impressive number of potential candidates who report that they are ready or are nearing readiness for making application.  The future of the ABFO seems positive when considering the addition of eight capable new board-certified forensic dentists in two years with similar or greater numbers preparing to apply.


That encouraging trend is, in large part, attributable to the able Diplomates who have worked persistently to develop and produce the excellent workshops that have allowed many dentists to gain valuable forensic knowledge and experience. Continuing that trend, in February 2019 Dr. Tom David and Dr. Kathy Kasper led committees that completed the very successful Civil Litigation and Dental Age Assessment workshops. Thank you to Kathy and Tom and to all who served on those committees and also to those who served as lecturers and proctors. Your selfless contributions were key to the successes.


Looking forward to 2020, under the leadership of the Ad Hoc Overall Workshop Committee Chair, Dr. Jim Lewis, the Chair of the Bitemark Evidence and Patterned Injury Committee and the Chair of the Dental Identification Committee have named the individuals who will lead the workshop committees for the two workshops to be held in February 2020 in Anaheim, California. Dr. Robert Dorion announced that he will chair the Bitemark Workshop Committee and Dr. Bryan Chrz has announced that Dr. Rick Cardoza will again chair the Dental Identification Workshop. The Bitemark Workshop will be held on Saturday, February 15, 2020 and the Dental Identification Workshop on Sunday, February 16, 2020.


Cheers also go out to those Diplomates who were elected as officers, directors, and members of key committees. Dr. Jacqueline Reid was elected to the Executive Committee as our new Treasurer; Drs. Corinne D’Anjou, Derek Draft, and Lena Karkalas were elected to the Board of Directors; Dr. J.P. Fancher was elected to the hard-working Certification & Examination Committee; and Dr. Robert Barsley was elected to the Ethics Committee. Thank you and congratulations to all of these outstanding women and men.


Two new Ad Hoc Committees have been created. 1) The Ad Hoc Data Security Committee will be chaired by Dr. Jim Lewis with Drs. Robin Ainsworth, Derek Draft, and Richard Fixott as committee members. This committee will be responsible for developing and establishing a secure data storage system for the ABFO’s growing body of records, documents, files, and data. 2) The Ad Hoc Diplomate Development Committee will be chaired by Dr. Paula Brumit. Also serving on this committee is new Diplomate Dr. Mark Eilers. The DipDev committee will create and maintain multiple lines of communications with dentists who may be prospective applicants to the ABFO. They will appropriately inform, advise, and assist those dentists to understand and work effectively toward meeting the requirements for applying for ABFO certification. They will work closely with the Public Relations/Social Media Committee to promote and optimize the flow of information.


The Executive Committee has already been working to review, and revise where needed, the information that is on the ABFO website. The goal is to ensure that all information on the website is correct and up to date. If you go to the website at https://abfo.org you will notice that some information on the website has been moved to a more logical location. For instance, all information related to certification or recertification is now under the certification tab.  When exploring the site you may see some “Under Development” or “Assignments Pending” notes in places. These notes are very likely there because of mandated waiting periods before BOD votes to approve changes. If you see or suspect incorrect or outdated information on the website, please contact Dr. Richard Fixott at secretary@abfo.org


I want to communicate to all ABFO Diplomates that I am committed to doing all that is in my power to improve the tone of conversations and other communications among members and others who may disagree or have different ideas about contentious issues in forensic dentistry. I acknowledge that I am among the first who needs to change, and I pledge to make that transformation.  I will work to ensure that my interactions with those with whom I may disagree remain professional, collegial, and encourage mutual respect. I invite others who recognize this need to join me in making those changes to become more amicably inclusive of those with different views. Forensic dentistry is too important to us all to participate in anything other than constructive discourse to improve the discipline.


I look forward to confronting the challenges that the rest of 2019 and 2020 will bring. The intelligent and talented Diplomates that serve on the Executive Committee and on the Board of Directors have already worked to bring me up to date and have provided advice and assistance. I am enthusiastic about continuing to work with the EC and BOD, with those who serve on ABFO committees, and with all Diplomates who are dedicated to maintaining and constantly improving the standards, principles, and ideals of the American Board of Forensic Odontology.


Thank you for trusting me with these responsibilities.


David R. Senn, DDS


American Board of Forensic Odontology





The American Board of Forensic Odontology, Inc.
Email: contact@abfo.org