The effects of household corrosive substances on restored and non-restored teeth
Trapp, Brittany Megan
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A gap in the literature exists regarding the chemical effects of household acids at different concentrations on restored and non-restored dentition. The present study examines the effects of household corrosive products on human dentition. A total of 105 adult teeth consisting of restorations composed of silver amalgam, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, and teeth lacking restorative material were used. The household products utilized were hydrochloric acid (Clorox® Bleach Cleaner and The Works® Toilet Bowl Cleaner) and sulfuric acid (Drano® Drain Opener and Watchdog® Battery Acid), along with one control base (Biz® Detergent). Teeth were radiographed before and after exposure to the products and were removed from the solutions after 1, 2, 4, 8, 24, 72, 120 and 264 hours. Documentation included weight, mesiodistal and buccolingual crown measurements, ordinal scoring of alterations, and photography. The results indicate 86% of the teeth could be positively identified by radiographs after exposure. Hydrochloric acid had the most destructive effects to teeth without restorations and those with silver amalgam restorations but had a minimal effect on the porcelain-fused-to-metal samples. Sulfuric acid minimally altered the restored teeth and deteriorated some parts of the enamel and dentin of the non-restored samples. Exposure to the detergent resulted in no change. A logistic regression analysis was conducted to determine if there was statistical relevance in acid type, acid concentration, and the type of restoration of the tooth. Results indicate that acid type, acid concentration and the type of restoration are all statistically relevant for positively identifying an individual through radiographs. The results of this study demonstrate that various household corrosive substances can affect the morphology of teeth, and in some cases, destroy teeth, which could mask the identification of an individual. However, the porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns were minimally affected by corrosive agents and can therefore be used for positive identifications.