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01.07.2008 | Original Article | Ausgabe 4/2008

International Journal of Legal Medicine 4/2008

Ultra-high-resolution dual-source CT for forensic dental visualization—discrimination of ceramic and composite fillings

International Journal of Legal Medicine > Ausgabe 4/2008
C. Jackowski, M. Wyss, A. Persson, M. Classens, M. J. Thali, A. Lussi


Dental identification is the most valuable method to identify human remains in single cases with major postmortem alterations as well as in mass casualties because of its practicability and demanding reliability. Computed tomography (CT) has been investigated as a supportive tool for forensic identification and has proven to be valuable. It can also scan the dentition of a deceased within minutes. In the present study, we investigated currently used restorative materials using ultra-high-resolution dual-source CT and the extended CT scale for the purpose of a color-encoded, in scale, and artifact-free visualization in 3D volume rendering. In 122 human molars, 220 cavities with 2-, 3-, 4- and 5-mm diameter were prepared. With presently used filling materials (different composites, temporary filling materials, ceramic, and liner), these cavities were restored in six teeth for each material and cavity size (exception amalgam n = 1). The teeth were CT scanned and images reconstructed using an extended CT scale. Filling materials were analyzed in terms of resulting Hounsfield units (HU) and filling size representation within the images. Varying restorative materials showed distinctively differing radiopacities allowing for CT-data-based discrimination. Particularly, ceramic and composite fillings could be differentiated. The HU values were used to generate an updated volume-rendering preset for postmortem extended CT scale data of the dentition to easily visualize the position of restorations, the shape (in scale), and the material used which is color encoded in 3D. The results provide the scientific background for the application of 3D volume rendering to visualize the human dentition for forensic identification purposes.

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