Volume 47, Issue 3 (May 2002)
The Use of Amalgam Powder and Calcium Hydroxide to Recreate a Radiopaque Image of a Lost Dental Restoration
Radiographs of dental restorations are highly reliable when used to identify postmortem dental remains. A problem exists if key dental restorations are missing or defective, which results in the loss of a comparative radiographic image. This article describes a simple method allowing the odontologist to quickly recreate a temporary radiopaque restoration. This article presents a method of using amalgam powder (radiopaque material) and calcium hydroxide (radiopaque material and transport medium for the amalgam powder) to recreate a radiopaque image on a tooth that has lost a dental restoration. Amalgam powder and calcium hydroxide is easily obtained (in any dental office), fairly clean, easy to manipulate, inexpensive, inert, stable, and able to be removed without damaging the dental remains. The amalgam powder/calcium hydroxide mixture can easily be re-shaped or modified to reflect the radiopaque image of the original restoration. Radiographic comparison of the “restored” dental remains to the antemortem radiographs is now possible. The use of this technique is presented in a case report.