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World Journal of Dentistry


Introduction: Violence and crime in human lives from bomb explosions, fire accidents, wars, plane crashes, and natural disasters make identification of victims difficult. The carbonized bodies, advanced stage of decomposition among other circumstances, highlight the need to employ faster, more accurate methods during identification of victims. This study was planned to evaluate the changes in teeth after exposure to varying levels of temperature simulating real-life fire disasters for forensic identification.

Materials and methods: A total of 128 freshly extracted molars and premolars were collected from patients of age group between 12 and 70 years. Samples of 128 teeth were divided into three groups and were subjected to varying degrees of temperatures of 100°C, 200°C, 500°C, 600°C, 700°C, and 800°C in an electric furnace. After subjecting the teeth for each range of temperature, they were analyzed for morphological changes under stereomicroscope. Pulp available was processed for normal histological procedures for observation of the tissue under light microscope, and blood grouping of the pulp was done by adsorption and elution technique. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) quantification of the heat-treated teeth was done by ultraviolet spectrophotometry. The analysis of variance test and Tukey’s test were used for multiple variables.

Results: There were statistically significant results in DNA obtained from each temperature. The blood grouping from pulp was not available above 500°C. Furthermore, there was a progressive increase in the weight loss of teeth analyzed by the thermogravimetric method.

Conclusion: Heat-treated teeth with detectable amounts of DNA suggested it is useful to pursue further analysis, such as restriction enzyme digestion, polymerase chain reaction, and Southern blotting.

Keywords: Blood grouping, Deoxyribonucleic acid quantification, High temperatures, Histopathology, Identification, Tooth pulp.

How to cite this article: Amin R, Shetty P, Shetty V. Reliability of Teeth for Identification after Exposure to varying Degrees of Temperature. World J Dent 2017;8(2):96-103.

Source of support: Nil

Conflict of interest: None

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