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Title: Heat-induced alterations of dental tissues
Author: Sandholzer, Michael
ISNI:       0000 0004 5362 5629
Awarding Body: University of Birmingham
Current Institution: University of Birmingham
Date of Award: 2014
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In forensic investigations involving severely burned human remains, dental analysis stands alone as other means of identification are often destroyed. Therefore, the aim of the present work was to investigate the influence of duration of heat exposure and heating regimes regarding the macroscopic, compositional, structural and crystalline alterations of dental tissues. Experiments were carried out using 215 freshly extracted human teeth, exposed to temperatures of 400 to 1000°C. Shrinkage and shape preservation was analysed using micro-CT, whilst crystalline alterations were evaluated with synchrotron-based SAXS/WAXS experiments. The alterations of organic constituents were assessed using TGA and FTIR. Moreover, calibrated digital photographs were used to document and analyse colour alterations. Although dentinal shrinkage was found at 400°C, tooth morphology was well preserved even at 1000°C. Surface colour alterations were linked to the degradation of organic components, and were highly dependent upon the duration of heat exposure and the heating regime, whilst crystalline alterations were less influenced by these factors. The combination of novel analytical approaches enabled the documentation and quantification of heat-induced alterations of dental tissues, providing results that can be used in the forensic identification process and allow an improved estimation of the cremation temperature range based on human dental remains.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: RA1001 Forensic Medicine. Medical jurisprudence. Legal medicine ; RK Dentistry