Ultrastructural Analysis of Incinerated Teeth by Scanning Electron Microscope – A Short Study ZC08-ZC11
Dr. Shyam Prasad Reddy Dorankula,
Reader, Department of Oral Pathology, Kamineni Institute of Dental Sciences, Narketpally,
Nalgonda (Dt), Telangana State – 508254, India.
Introduction: In forensic context precise knowledge on physical and histological changes of teeth subjected to high temperatures is of great importance. Preserving fragile incinerated teeth for physical, histological and ultra structural examinations is essential in fire investigations involving the origin of fire, its cause as well as the identification of victims which relies on a thorough understanding of the structural changes in dental tissues subjected to heat.
Aim: The study was conducted to evaluate the physical and ultrastructural changes seen in freshly extracted teeth when subjected to gradual heating at different temperatures using Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM).
Settings and Design: Freshly extracted teeth collected from subjects of different age groups were subjected to different temperatures using laboratory furnace and findings were correlated to the temperature.
Materials and Methods: The study was conducted on 60 healthy freshly extracted teeth belonging to age group between 20-30 years. Group A comprised of control group which included teeth that were not subjected to heat whereas Group B, C and D comprised of teeth that were subjected to different temperatures i.e., 100oC, 300oC and 600oC respectively for a time of fifteen minutes in laboratory furnace, after which they were processed for SEM examination. Each group included 15 teeth; 5 anteriors, 5 premolars and 5 molars.
Results: Examination under SEM revealed definite ultra structural changes which were explicitly seen at particular temperatures (100oC, 300oC and 600oC). The samples showed cracks and charring of the tooth structure with ultra structural findings such as pebbles, granules, dots on enamel surface; and soap bubble pattern, honey comb pattern and snail track pattern on cementum surface.
Conclusion: Because of the consistency of morphological changes and the ultra structural patterns at various temperatures, evaluation of incinerated dental remains using SEM can provide additional investigative avenues in victim identification and in the areas of forensic fire investigations.