An open letter to the DR’s and staff member of family dental centers across the nation.
Volunteers can help move this concept forward by sharing directly with their own care provider.
This adds a new later to the volunteer community – the professional care provider willing to help serve the cause of missing & unidentified persons.
It is my hope that volunteers can continue this effort by taking the model letter below, endorse as a team member and extend to your own care provider.
Dental Initiative for the Missing & Unidentified
Dear Dental Care Provider,
There are almost 100,000 missing persons listed with the FBI’s National Crime Information Center — we know there are more…many more.
The loss of a loved one to the unknown is one of the most devastating events imaginable. It is hard to realize the magnitude until you find yourself in this position.
Your dental records of this missing people may be a huge and valuable tool to help the families of your dental practice.
Also listed on FBI-NCIC are more than 7,000 unidentified bodies. Again we know there are more, estimates between 40,000 to 60,000 unidentified bodies. They are buried in paupers graves, stored in boxes, cremated or otherwise forgotten.
Due to a severe lack of information, many will never be identified. Gaps in data either on the missing side or the unidentified side that prevent a lead or positive identification. DNA offers a partial solution if samples are available, but this takes time to process.
As you and your staff now see first hand, in many TV and media articles Missing and Unidentified is a growing concern for many families in the United States. Your dental records of this missing people may be a valuable tool to help the families in your area.
Good dental records are a vital need and an excellent forensic resource in positive identifications. It can mean an ID that can be confirmed or excluded in a matter of minutes – as opposed to potentially several months for DNA.
We are reaching out to the dental community in effort to improve the status quo. Thousands of missing persons files – also missing vital data. If you have a missing person among your patients, you might be in possession of potentially invaluable information. You can make a difference and very easily. Even though your records were created for treatment purposes, in the event of a missing person, they take on an entirely new purpose.
We are asking that you please take note of patients potentially among the missing…and reach out to your law enforcement community to insure they know you have this information available. Often law enforcement do not know how to connect with the missing persons dentist. Even family members might not be aware of the identity of their loved ones dental provider(s).
If you know that a client is missing or suspect the possibility, you can call local officials to confirm. You can also check missing persons websites such as www.NamUs.gov
Should you discovery that you are in possession of these vital records; it is possible for you as dental providers to come forward to let law enforcement know these records exist. Volunteerism at professional levels is of utmost importance.
Your initial consideration of this the first step. Can’t hurt anything, might change everything…even for just one family.
More information on NamUs –