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Effect of high temperatures on root canal obturation – an aid in forensic identifications


Aishwarya Ranganath , Iffat Nasim

Abstract

The forensic odontologist is aimed at making use of the human dentition throughout each stage of dental evaluation. The main features for identification include their radiographic morphology and filling materials. The knowledge of detecting this is a valuable toolmark in the presumptive identification of the dentition of a burned victim. Teeth may have differences in withstanding temperatures and can be correlated with the adequate qualities and quantities of the traces of burned bodies. This relies on the previous records as well as the radiographs. This greatly narrows the research for the final identification that is based on postmortem data. To evaluate and compare the effect and resistance of root canal obturated teeth to different temperatures using radiovisiography for the purpose of identification in forensic analysis. The study was conducted on 56 extracted teeth which were divided into four groups of 14 teeth each based on the different temperatures. Group A - 200°C, Group B - 400°C, Group C - 600°C, and Group D - 800°C. Damage to the teeth subjected to various temperatures can be categorized as intact, scorched, charred and incinerated. At 800°C, the tooth completely charred whereas at 200°C and 400°C the tooth showed both visual and radiographic changes. Utilizing knowledge of charred human dentition and residues of root canal obturated teeth can help in recognition of bodies burned beyond recognition.



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