Technical note: Intra-alveolar morphology assessed in empty dental sockets of teeth missing post-mortem

Lucas Raineri Capeletti, Ademir Franco, Rogério Vieira Reges, Rhonan Ferreira Silva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Dental human identification relies on distinctive traits detected and compared between ante-mortem (AM) and post-mortem (PM) data. Several distinctive traits may be found in dental roots, such as dilacerations and bifurcations. However, teeth are often dislodged during the manipulation of skeletal remains, charred bodies and bodies retrieved from water. In these situations the identification process is hampered. The present study aims to retrieve information of teeth missing PM through the investigation of intra-alveolar morphology in empty dental sockets using different dental impression materials. This study was conducted using a dry human skull and 6 techniques for intra-alveolar impression, namely: (1) alginate using a dental tray; (2) heavy-body condensation silicone (HBCS) using manual compression; (3) HBSC using a blunt tip probe; (4) HBCS using a dental tray; (5) light- and HBCS using a syringe and a dental tray; and (6) polyether using a syringe and a dental tray. These techniques were evaluated based on 5 criteria: (I) intra-alveolar flow; (II) registration of apical morphology; (III) tensile strength; (IV) complexity; and (V) cost. The best outcomes considering the cost and benefit relation of each technique were observed in the following order: techniques #3 > #2 > #5 > #6. Techniques #1 and #4 did not reach satisfactory outcomes for application in the forensic routine. Forensic dentists must be aware of the possibility of retrieving PM dental information even in the absence of teeth. The impression of intra-alveolar morphology may contribute significantly as source of PM dental information for human identifications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-165
Number of pages5
JournalForensic Science International
Early online date15 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2017


  • Forensic odontology
  • Human identification
  • Missing teeth
  • Morphology
  • Post-mortem

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine

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