Detection and Classification of Composite Resins in Incinerated Teeth for Forensic Purposes

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The great demand for esthetic restorations has resulted in placement of large numbers of composite resin fillings. The popularity of these materials is reflected in the quantity and variety of resin brands currently on the market. The ability to distinguish resin brands can aid in positive identification of burn victims, assuming that appropriate dental records exist. Scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM/EDS) was used to characterize the structure and composition of 10 modern resins. The structure of each resin was unique to manufacturer, and elemental analysis allowed separation into distinct groups. These 10 resins were also placed in extracted teeth and incinerated at 900°C for 30 min, simulating near cremation conditions. The resins were identifiable by SEM/EDS after incineration, and the elemental composition remained almost unchanged. The data produced are immediately useful for resin identification in forensics, and comparative analysis can be readily performed using standard equipment. This work represents the initial stage of database generation.

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