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Thursday, April 8, 2021

The Dental Identification of Cremated Remains

Dental devices can be helpful in identifying a cremated individual. Even though dental crowns seldom end up in the urn, dental posts, made of stainless steel or titanium, which are used to affix artificial crowns onto small tooth stumps, can be extremely important. Not only do they vary considerably in chemical composition, in size and in shape (each brand looks very different), but they are often altered by grinding the ends when the dentist inserts them into the tooth. These altered tips can be compared with dental radiographs or dental x-rays and be identified absolutely individually. They will show up in dental x-rays before death, and again in x-rays taken of the cremated remains. They can be as unique as fingerprints, because the dentist has shaped them to fit a particular tooth.

Dr. William R. Maples, Dead Men Do Tell Tales, 1994

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