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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 222354 Find in a Library
Title: Identification of Incinerated Root Canal Filling Materials After Exposure to High Heat Incineration
Journal: Journal of Forensic Sciences  Volume:53  Issue:2  Dated:March 2008  Pages:412-418
Author(s): Joseph D. Bonavilla D.D.S.; Mary A. Bush D.D.S.; Peter J. Bush B.S.; Eugene A. Pantera D.D.S.
Date Published: March 2008
Page Count: 7
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study assessed the usefulness of scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM/EDS) in the identification and composition of endodontic obturation materials used as root-end dental filling materials, as a means of identifying a victim exposed to high-heat incineration.
Abstract: The study showed that SEM/EDS could be used to assist in identifying incinerated victims who underwent antemortem (before death) surgical or nonsurgical root canal therapy based on elemental analysis of the obturating material. Elemental characteristics of the specific endodontic file, sealers, or cement can prove to be an essential tool for the forensic odontologist in the identification of victims. The increase in the number of dental clinicians who use nickel titanium files to clean and shape the root canal will inevitably lead to more instrument breakages in the canal. The radiographic image and SEM/EDS analysis clearly identifies nickel titanium files after incineration due to its straight radiographic appearance in canal curvatures and the elemental characteristics of titanium. The sealers were identified by their unique elemental constituents and specific heavy metal content. Heavy metals are used in endodontic obturation materials in order to impart radiopacity. This study is based on a premise that antemortem dental records list the type of dental obturating material; however, this type of meticulous recordkeeping is not always routinely practiced. It is strongly encouraged that clinicians include the brand name of any dental material placed in their patients. In conducting this study, 16 endodontic materials were analyzed before incineration and placed in extracted teeth. The filled teeth were subjected to incineration at 900 degrees C for 30 minutes in order to simulate incineration events or cremation. Incinerated materials were radiographed and reanalyzed to determine whether they retained their original elemental composition. 4 tables, 8 figures, and 26 references
Main Term(s): Criminology; Dental analysis
Index Term(s): Death investigations; Electron microscopy; Forensic sciences; Investigative techniques; Spectroscopy; Victim identification; X-Ray Technology
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