Irradiation of any tissue creates changes in that tissue. Ionizing radiation imparts charges to the tissue as it interacts with tissue components, changing the tissue structure. The specific type of modification also depends to some extent upon the type of tissue irradiated. It has been shown that it is possible to read the tooth enamel irradiation record using techniques such as electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR), or electron spin resonance (ESR).
It is proposed to examine radiation responses in approximately one hundred (100) human teeth. This would include teeth free of, as well as those containing, amalgam (silver) restorations. For the first group, teeth that have already been collected (pre-existing pathological specimens) would be used. These teeth were surgical/pathological discards collected without identifiers by the dental providers.