Radiologic evaluation of heat-induced shrinkage and shape preservation of human teeth using micro-CT

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Introduction: The most reliable and frequently applied method for identification of fire victims is comparative dental radiography. Forensic investigators are often confronted with fragmented and isolated remains, frequently removed from their anatomical position. Whilst the heat-induced dimensional and morphological changes in bone have been previously studied, precise data for heat-induced changes of human teeth is still lacking. Objective: The aim of this study was to obtain quantitative micro-CT data to evaluate the three-dimensional shrinkage and shape preservation of human teeth to provide an improved understanding on heat-induced alterations of dental tissues. Materials and methods: High-resolution micro-CT scans and digital radiographs were carried out on 66 freshly extracted human teeth before and after 30. min exposure to temperatures of 400-1000°C. Image analysis was performed using 3D Slicer and Fiji imaging packages. Results: The average volumetric shrinkage ranged between 4.78% (at 400°C) and 32.53% (at 1000°C). A major increase in shrinkage occurs between 700°C and 800°C, while no significant statistical difference (ANOVA post-hoc LSD, α
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-111
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Forensic Radiology and Imaging
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2013


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