Extended CT Scale Overcomes Restoration Caused Streak Artifacts for Dental Identification in CT - 3D Color Encoded Automatic Discrimination of Dental Restorations

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Besides DNA, dental radiographs play a major role in the identification of victims in mass casualties or in corpses with major postmortem alterations. Computed tomography (CT) is increasingly applied in forensic investigations and is used to scan the dentition of deceased persons within minutes. We investigated different restoration materials concerning their radiopacity in CT for dental identification purposes.


Extracted teeth with different filling materials (composite, amalgam, ceramic, temporary fillings) were CT scanned. Radiopacities of the filling materials were analyzed in extended CT scale images.


Radiopacity values ranged from 6000-8500HU (temporary fillings), 4500-17000HU (composite fillings) and >30710HU (Amalgam and Gold). The values were used to define presets for a 3D colored volume rendering software.


The effects of filling material caused streak artifacts could be distinctively reduced for the assessment of the dental status and a postprocessing algorithm was introduced that allows for 3D color encoded visualization and discrimination of different dental restorations based on postmortem CT data.

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