Human identification and postmortem intervals can be difficult to estimate when corpses are found in drowning situations, and forensic odontologists can bring valuable input to forensic science investigations of this type. Studies that simulate real scenarios are crucial for providing parameters that can be used in real cases. The present study created the necessary circumstances, i.e. immersion in a marine environment, to estimate the changes in the mechanical properties (Knoop microhardness, roughness, and color) of various dental fillings (silver amalgam, composite resin, and glass ionomer cement) over different immersion periods of time (one and three months). The silver amalgam fillings showed a significant increase in surface roughness. The composite resin fillings showed statistically significant increases in surface roughness and Knoop microhardness, and the glass ionomer cement showed a significant increase in surface roughness. These results lead to the conclusion that teeth restored with silver amalgam, composite resin, and glass ionomer cement, when subjected to immersion in marine environments, produce different changes in surface roughness, Knoop microhardness, and color properties depending on the length of immersion time. These findings could help in the field of forensic science to accurately estimate immersion time of dead bodies found in marine environments.
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