Masters Theses

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Comparative and Experimental Medicine

Major Professor

Murray K. Marks

Committee Members

Stephen A. Kania, James M. Lewis


Forensic dentistry attempts to identify unrecognizable decomposed, skeletonized, comingled human remains. A criminal act performed to purposefully dispose or disfigure a victim in order to conceal identity is acid erosion, rendering the dentition unrecognizable for antemortem and postmortem comparison. Despite current literature on the effects of household acids on teeth, there is a research deficiency in the microscopic appearance of acid-exposed teeth. The sample teeth evaluated in this study are non-restored roots, non-restored crowns, and crowns restored with amalgam and composite. The microscopic portion of this study utilized a dissecting scope at 6.3-12.5X magnification of the surface and scanning electron microscopy surface at 111X-1,082X. Data collected includes dental metrics of the mesiodistal and buccolingual dimensions, as well crown height, root length and width. Battery acid, toilet bowl cleaner, and drain unclogging liquids were used, as these are common acids that are readily available.

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