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Proceedings Paper

Dental materials as an aid for victim identification: examination of calcined remains by SEM/EDS
Author(s): Mary A. Bush; Peter J. Bush
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Paper Abstract

Detection and identification of human remains in situations in which they are calcined, disarticulated, and fragmented may be a challenging task. In such situations the non-biological materials that may be present in the dentition can provide the best evidence available for potential identification. Four human jaw segments were utilized. A known combination of dental resins was placed in each segment, when possible. Other restorations, pre-existing in the cadavers, were retained. The jaw segments were cremated in a commercial cremation oven for 2.5 hrs at 1010C. Scanning Electron Microscopy with Energy Dispersive X-Ray Spectroscopy (SEM/EDS) was used to analyze the dentition and fragmented debris. Analysis with SEM/EDS demonstrated the ability to confirm brand of known dental resins placed in each cadaver. In addition, pre-existing materials in each jaw segment were profiled and a likely brand name suggested. It was shown that microscopic fragments of heat-altered materials could be identified and classified, adding another level of certainty in victim identification.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 June 2010
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 7729, Scanning Microscopy 2010, 772914 (3 June 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.853311
Show Author Affiliations
Mary A. Bush, SUNY at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine (United States)
Peter J. Bush, SUNY at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7729:
Scanning Microscopy 2010
Michael T. Postek; Dale E. Newbury; S. Frank Platek; David C. Joy, Editor(s)

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