From the University of Florida Forensic Science Blog:
http://blog.forensicscience.ufl.edu/201 ... -evidence/
Methods currently used for obtaining samples for DNA isolation are well established. In almost all protocols the specimen needs to be damaged either by crushing the entire tooth or sectioning the piece. Is there a non destructive DNA extraction method?
The answer is yes. Several authors have successfully amplified mitochondrial and nuclear DNA using non destructive methods in museum specimens (see Hofreiter 2012, Mohandesan et al. 2012, Bolnick et al. 2012 and Rohland 2004). But what about forensic cases?
A few days ago, a new method was reported. Chilean researchers Patricio Carrasco and Carolina Inostroza from the Universidad de los Andes, have obtained a provisional US patent for their novel DNA extraction system from the teeth without breaking or damaging the piece. The method, not only allows to ID the person, but also the post mortem interval and cause of death (i.e. poisoning, diseases, drugs).
Now if someone could only find one of those 60 plus million alleged teeth...