Volume 47, Issue 4 (July 2002)
The Use of Quantitative Light-Induced Fluorescence (QLF) to Identify Composite Restorations in Forensic Examinations
There has been a large increase in the number of tooth colored restorations "white fillings" placed in recent years. An increased de-mand from the public for more aesthetic dental restorations causes a potential problem for forensic dentists who may find the fillings difficult to identify and hence include in postmortem odontograms. This has implications for the accuracy of dental identifications, particularly in situations where limited time is available for postmortem identification, e.g., mass casualty incidents. A new method for the detection of composite restora-tions is presented. Quantitative Light-induced Fluorescence (QLF) is a technique currently employed to detect small changes in enamel mineral con-tent. An experiment was conducted to determine if the technique would afford a greater degree of contrast between composite and enamel and thus enable the accuracy of composite identification in enamel. Twenty-four previously extracted human premolars were gently cleaned with pumice and wet-and-dry paper. Twelve were subsequently randomly selected and restored on their buccal surfaces with Spectrum (a composite) following man-ufacturer's instructions. No attempt was made to color match the teeth and all were filled with shade B3. Twelve teeth were left unrestored. QLF and normal white light images were taken of both restored and non-restored surfaces with teeth wet and then dried. Ten forensic dentists were asked on two separate occasions (one month between each attempt) to indicate whether or not they thought the surface was: a) restored or b) unrestored. Results indicate that forensic dentists detected a significantly higher proportion ( p1/4neo0.005) of filled surfaces with QLF.