World Journal of Dentistry

Register      Login

VOLUME 8 , ISSUE 2 ( March-April, 2017 ) > List of Articles


Reliability of Teeth for Identification after Exposure to varying Degrees of Temperature

Reshma Amin, Pushparaja Shetty

Citation Information : Amin R, Shetty P. Reliability of Teeth for Identification after Exposure to varying Degrees of Temperature. World J Dent 2017; 8 (2):96-103.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10015-1420

Published Online: 01-04-2017

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2017; The Author(s).



Violence and crime in human lives from bomb explosions, fire accidents, wars, plane crashes, and natural disasters make identification of victims difficult. The carbonized bodies, advanced stage of decomposition among other circumstances, highlight the need to employ faster, more accurate methods during identification of victims. This study was planned to evaluate the changes in teeth after exposure to varying levels of temperature simulating real-life fire disasters for forensic identification.

Materials and methods

A total of 128 freshly extracted molars and premolars were collected from patients of age group between 12 and 70 years. Samples of 128 teeth were divided into three groups and were subjected to varying degrees of temperatures of 100°C, 200°C, 500°C, 600°C, 700°C, and 800°C in an electric furnace. After subjecting the teeth for each range of temperature, they were analyzed for morphological changes under stereomicroscope. Pulp available was processed for normal histological procedures for observation of the tissue under light microscope, and blood grouping of the pulp was done by adsorption and elution technique. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) quantification of the heat-treated teeth was done by ultraviolet spectrophotometry. The analysis of variance test and Tukey's test were used for multiple variables.


There were statistically significant results in DNA obtained from each temperature. The blood grouping from pulp was not available above 500°C. Furthermore, there was a progressive increase in the weight loss of teeth analyzed by the thermogravimetric method.


Heat-treated teeth with detectable amounts of DNA suggested it is useful to pursue further analysis, such as restriction enzyme digestion, polymerase chain reaction, and Southern blotting.

How to cite this article

Amin R, Shetty P, Shetty V. Reliability of Teeth for Identification after Exposure to varying Degrees of Temperature. World J Dent 2017;8(2):96-103.

PDF Share
  1. Missing people, DNA analysis and identification of human remains: a guide to best practice in armed conflicts and other situations of armed violence. 2nd ed. Geneva: ICRC; 2009.
  2. Use of DNA technology in forensic dentistry. J Appl Oral Sci 2007 Jun;15(3):156-161.
  3. Applications of forensic dentistry: Part-I. Res J Med Sci 2010 Mar;4(3):179-186.
  4. Experimental studies of forensic odontology to aid in the identification process. J Forensic Dent Sci 2010 Jul-Dec;2(2):69-76.
  5. Sex determination of observation of Barr body in teeth subjected to high temperatures. Int J Morphol 2011 Jan;29(1):199-203.
  6. A look at forensic dentistry – part 1: the role of teeth in the determination of human identity. Br Dent J 2001 Apr;190(7):359-366.
  7. Reliable genetic identification of burnt human remains. Forensic Sci Int Genet 2011 Nov;5(5):393-399.
  8. Forensic cremation: recovery and analysis. Boca Raton: CRC Press; 2008.
  9. ABO blood grouping on dental tissue. J Forensic Sci 1993 Jul;38(4):956-960.
  10. ABO blood group typing in forensic autopsies. Nihon Hoigaku Zasshi 2005 Oct;59(2):111-117.
  11. Original research paper ABO blood grouping from tooth material. J Indian Acad Forensic Med 2010;32(4):336-338.
  12. DNA extraction from heat-treated dental pulp using agarose gel electrophoresis. Int J Forensic Med Toxicol 2011 Jul-Dec;5(2):117-118.
  13. Application of DNA techniques for identification using human dental pulp as a source of DNA. Int J Legal Med 1992 May;105(3):139-143.
  14. Room temperature DNA preservation of soft tissue for rapid DNA extraction: an addition to the disaster victim identification investigators toolkit? Forensic Sci Int Genet 2008 Jan;2(1):29-34.
  15. Orban's oral histology and embryology. 13th ed. New Delhi: Elsevier; 2011.
  16. Burnt bones and teeth: an experimental study of color, morphology, crystal structure and shrinkage. J Archaeol Sci 1984 Jul;11(4):307-325.
  17. Dental discolouration after thermal treatment. Arch Oral Biol 2004 Mar;49(3):233-238.
  18. Structural and thermal behaviour of human tooth and three synthetic hydroxyapatites from 20 to 600 C. J Phys D Appl Phys 2008 Oct;41(22):225-407.
  19. Effects of extreme heat on teeth with implications for histologic processing. J Forensic Sci 1999 Jul;44(4):805-809.
  20. ABO blood grouping on tooth material. Forensic Sci Int 1991 Sep;50(2):277-284.
  21. Use of bleach to eliminate contaminating DNA from the surface of bones and teeth. Forensic Sci Int 2005 Nov;154(1):53-61.
  22. Role of dental pulp in identification of the deceased individual by establishing ABO blood grouping and Rhesus factor. Indian J Dent Res 2012 Nov-Dec;23(6):811-813.
  23. Teeth-hidden treasure of blood group. Indian J Forensic Med Pathol 2011 Jul-Sep;4(3):113-118.
  24. Different dental tissues as source of DNA for human identification in forensic cases. Croat Med J 2003 Jun;44(3):306-309.
  25. Fundamental and practical study for DNA analysis using tooth as a source of DNA. Nihon Hoigaku Zasshi 1995 Feb;49(1):1-10.
PDF Share
PDF Share

© Jaypee Brothers Medical Publishers (P) LTD.