Histomorphologic and Gravimetric Changes of Teeth Exposed to High Temperature - <i>In vitro</i> Study
Background: In forensic dentistry, odontologists have been particularly interested in the investigation of burnt human remains. The purpose of our research is to provide morphological, stereomicroscopic, histological, and gravimetric findings from the investigation of the effects of thermal processes on teeth.Teeth, being the hardest substance in the body, give valuable information for forensic analysis. Objective: Histomorphology and gravimetric changes in teeth exposed to different ranges of high temperatures. Methodology: Thirty-six mandibular premolar teeth extracted for therapeutic purpose were taken and exposed to the varying higher temperatures. Macroscopic, stereomicroscopic, histological analyses along with the dry weight estimation were recorded at each temperature gradient. Results: From a lower temperature to a higher temperature, the specific colour change of the tooth was yellowish-orange, metallic black bronze and chalky white. Stereo microscopically, we observed intact teeth at 100°C; the gradual formation of micro cracks, crown-enamel separations from the cervical margin, eggshell cracking at 500°C; and a completely shattered crown at 900°C. Decalcified sections show dilation in the dentinal tubular pattern at 300°C. Loss of typical architecture was noted at 400°C, with dentinal tubules exhibiting the vapor bubble appearance. In-ground section alterations on the scalloping nature of dentino enamel junction, coalescing radicular dentinal tubules and sand cracking appearance of the tooth were noted at 100°C, 300°C and 900°C, respectively. Significant reductions in the weight of the teeth samples were observed with higher temperatures. Conclusion: Incineration-induced morphologic, histologic, and gravimetric alterations may provide useful information regarding the temperature and duration of fire exposure. It might also assist in understanding the conditions of the fire.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
- Da Silva RHA, Sales-Peres A, de Oliveira RN, de Oliveira FT, Sales-Peres SH. Use of DNA technology in forensic dentistry. J Appl Oral Sci. 2007; 15:156-61. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1678-77572007000300002 PMid:19089123 PMCid:PMC4327460 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1590/S1678-77572007000300002
- Norrlander AL. Burned and incinerated remains. In: Bowers CM, editor. Manual of Forensic Odontology. Colorado Springs: American Society of Forensic Odontology; 1997.
- Fereira JL, Fereira AE, Ortega AI. Methods for the analysis of hard dental tissues exposed to high temperatures. Forensic SciInt. 2008; 178:119-24. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2007.12.009 PMid:18434052 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.forsciint.2007.12.009
- Delattre VF. Burned beyond recognition: Systematic approach to the dental identification of charred human remains. J Forensic Sci. 2000; 45:589-96. https://doi.org/10.1520/JFS14733J PMid:10855963 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1520/JFS14733J
- Merlati G, Savlo C, Danesino P, Fassina G, Menghini P. Further study of restored and un-restored teeth subjected to high temperatures. J Forensic Odontostomatol. 2004; 22:34-9.
- Patidar KA, Parwani R, Wanjari S. Effects of high temperature on different restorations in forensic identification: Dental samples and mandible. J Forensic Dent Sci. 2010; 2:37-43. https://doi.org/10.4103/0974-2948.71056 PMid:21189989 PMCid:PMC3009553 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4103/0974-2948.71056
- Moreno S, Merlati G, Marin L, Savio C, Moreno F. Effects of high temperatures on different dental restorative systems: Experimental study to aid identification processes. J Forensic Dent Sci. 2009; 1:17-23. https://doi.org/10.4103/0974-2948.50883 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4103/0974-2948.50883
- Rotzscher K, Grundmann C, Benthaus S. The effects of high temperatures on human teeth and dentures. Int Poster J Dent Oral Med. 2004; 6: 213.
- Muller M, Berytrand MF, Quatrehomme G, Bolla M, Rocca JP. Macroscopic and microscopic aspects of incinerated teeth. J Forensic Odontostomatol. 1998; 16:1-7
- Karkhanis S, Ball J, Franklin D. Macroscopic and microscopic changes in incinerated deciduous teeth. J Forensic Odontostomatol. 2009; 27:9-19.
- Sandholzer MA, Baron K, Heimel P, Metscher BD. Volume analysis of heat-induced cracks in human molars: A preliminary study. Journal of Forensic Dental Sciences. 2014; 6(2):139-44. https://doi.org/10.4103/0975-1475.132545 PMid:25125923 PMCid:PMC4130017 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4103/0975-1475.132545
- Andersen L, Juhl M, Solheim T, Borrman H. Odontological identification of fire victims-potentialities and limitations. Int J Leg Med. 1995; 107:229-34. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01245479 PMid:7632598 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01245479
- Fernandez R, Douglas H, Antonio J. Effect of temperature on bone tissue: Histologic changes. Forensicsci. 2013. https://doi.org/10.1111-40290.12093
- Pol, Chetan A. et al. Effects of elevated temperatures on different restorative materials: An aid to forensic identification processes. Journal of Forensic Dental Sciences. 2015; 7(2):148-152. https://doi.org/10.4103/09751475.154591 PMid:26005305 PMCid:PMC4430574 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4103/0975-1475.154591
- Hughes CE, White CA. Crack propagation in teeth: A comparison of perimortem and postmortem behavior of dental materials and cracks. J Forensic Sci. 2009; 54:2636. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1556-4029.2008.00976.x PMid:19261049 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1556-4029.2008.00976.x