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A Tale of Two Hygienists Podcast

Oct 16, 2019

This week’s A Tale of Two Hygienists is a heavier episode dealing with personal loss and worldwide turmoil, but it also offers a glimpse into a very necessary side of dentistry and examines a major issue affecting our world today.


Sakher Alqahtani is a forensic and pediatric dentist who works at King Saud University in Saudi Arabia. He is also an honorary professor at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, where Andrew and Michelle got to speak with him. Sakher developed a new method of age estimation and lectures on that subject and human rights around the world.


In this episode, Sakher discusses the important applications of forensic dentistry, breaks down the current refugee crisis and resultant human trafficking, and explains what you can do to get involved.





Interview starts: 6:45


- Why forensic dentistry is relying less on dental records these days and more on social media like Instagram.


- Sakher discusses one particularly tragic case where forensic dentistry played a role in identifying victims.


- What is “Srebrenica syndrome” and how it applies to Sakher’s forensic dentistry work.


- Sakher breaks down the global refugee crisis, how age plays a major role in determining whether or not refugees can claim asylum, and where forensic dentistry figures into that.


- Exploring the outrageous costs of detaining refugees at the border compared to giving them basic social assistance as their paperwork is processed.


- How our modern concept of borders is creating an unnecessary crisis and hurts our growth as a society.


- What you can do to get yourself informed about the refugee crisis and how dental professionals can assist patients who may be affected by human trafficking.


- How you can get involved in forensic dentistry!





“So when we do the identification it’s for the living, because they cannot live a normal life otherwise.”


“The younger the person is, the more accurate age estimation is.”


“You have to protect that individual and people around them by applying the best method and by giving the best answer for that question.”


“You as taxpayers pay twenty times more for a person to be detained at the borders than if you let them in and give them money from social services... while their papers are processed.”

“This construct of borders and these harsh laws regarding people’s movement is a new concept.”


“Diversity always enriches a society.”





Sakher on Twitter -


The London Atlas of Tooth Development and Eruption -


American Society of Forensic Odontology -


American Academy of Forensic Sciences -


British Association for Forensic Odontologists -


Australian Society of Forensic Odontology -



Thank you to Paradise Dental Technologies aka PDT for providing sponsorship for this episode!


THIS EPISODE COUNTS FOR CE! - but read the disclaimer below as it might not count for your state.

Go here to take the test and get your CE credit!

Be sure to thank the sponsor for this episode by heading over to and picking up a new instrument or telling them thank you in person at one of the conferences!


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