A study of osseointegrated dental implants following cremation

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Abstract

Background:

The comparison of dental morphology and restorative work for human identification has been well documented. This case study involved documentation of osseointegrated and clinically restored dental implants following cremation.

Methods:

The mandible and the maxilla were excised from a head containing implants and cremated. The remains were retrieved, digital and radiographic images were taken and elemental analysis undertaken. The brand of implants was identified utilizing web based search engines. A prosthodontist, known to commonly use this implant system, was approached to ascertain possibilities that matched the data given.

Results:

Following cremation the implants were identified and a prosthodontist was able to identify the deceased. Two implants in the maxilla had dehiscences on their buccal surfaces, which could not be detected by periapical radiographs.

Conclusions:

Dental implants osseointegrated and restored with a prosthetic superstructure were recognizable following severe incineration. It was possible to trace back the identity of the unknown victim to a prosthodontist. Bone dehiscences discovered in this study highlighted how two-dimensional radiographs may not reveal lack of bone support.

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