Macroscopic Changes of Dental Amalgam subjected in vitro at High Temperatures with Forensic Purposes: Silver Bullets

Gustavo Sinisterra-Sinisterra, Liliana Marín-Jiménez, Angélica García, Sandra Moreno-Correa, Freddy Moreno-Gómez

Abstract


ABSTRACT. Background: Dental materials, including dental amalgam, undergo macro-structural changes when exposed to high temperatures. Understanding those changes can be useful for dental identification and documentation when conducting medical-legal autopsies of burned, charred, or incinerated bodies to determine type of biomaterial and highest temperature reached. Purpose: Describe the formation of silver nodules on the surface of dental amalgams exposed to high temperatures, in order to identify patterns and reliable markers for forensic dentistry use. Methods: This was a quasi-experimental in vitro study that described the formation of silver nodules in a sample of 45 dental amalgam discs (brands: Contour® Kerr®, Admix® SDI®, and Nu Alloy® New Stetic®) and 45 occlusal fillings in premolars that were exposed to high temperatures (200º C, 400º C, 600º C, and 800º C). Results:  Silver nodules were evident on the amalgam surfaces between 200º C and 400º C and began to disappear at 600º C to form spheres and strips upon reaching 800º C. Conclusions: The formation and disappearance of silver nodules is a recurring feature of new-generation amalgam alloys exposed to extreme temperatures. Therefore, describing them can be used as a marker to identify materials and determine highest temperature reached by human remains.

 


Keywords


altas temperaturas; amalgama dental; balas de plata; ciencias forenses, identificación odontológica, odontología forense

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11144/Javeriana.uo35-74.cmad

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