In vitro macroscopic analysis of dental tissues and some dental materials used in endodontics, submitted to high temperatures for forensic applications

Lucero Vázquez, Patricia Rodríguez, Freddy Moreno


Objective. The present  paper  aims at describing macro-structural physical changes  taking place in materials and tissues employed in endodontic treatments  after their exposition to high temperatures.


Materials and Methods.  An  in vitro  experimental study was conducted to observe macroscopic physical changes  in dental tissues ( enamel, dentine and cement)  as well as materials conventionally used in endodontic practice :gutta-percha, Maillefer Dentsply ® , Eufar ® cement with zinc oxide eugenol, Top Seal ®  Dentsply ® endodontic cement with epoxy resin, Fuji ® GC America ® glass ionomer,  GS80® SDI® silver amalgam, and Point 4® Kerr ®          resin, in 124 human teeth exposed to five temperature ranks: 200ºC, 400ªC, 600ªC, 800ªC and 1000ªC.

Results. Tissues and dental materials studied in the present research offered great resistance to high temperatures,  without exhibiting considerable macrostructure variation, in such a way that  physical changes ( dimensional stability, fissures, cracks, fractures, texture, color, carbonization and incineration) can be identified and associated to each specific temperature rank.

Conclusions. Dental tissues and materials offer great resistance to the effect of high temperatures. Moreover, they present specific changes ( color, texture, fissures, cracks fractures, fragmentation) which might contribute to the process of identifying a corpse, or burned, incinerated or carbonized human remains.

Palabras clave

Forensic dentistry, human identification, dental tissues, dental materials, endodontic use, high temperatures

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