Issue Two 2019
2019, Vol. 6 issue 2, (October)
Mercury content in different media related to the use of dental amalgam
All types of dental amalgams contain mercury, which partly emits mercury vapor. Dental amalgams corrode after being placed. When we rub or polish dental amalgam, droplets rich in mercury are formed on the surface, showing that mercury is not strongly bonded to the base or alloy metals.
To determine the mercury content in various fluids related to the use of dental amalgam we investigated sewage samples, amalgam obturation flushing, amalgam removal flush, amalgam polishing flush, water containing residual unused new amalgam left for two weeks, and saliva of patients with more than four old amalgam obturations. We applied Atomic coupled plasma emission spectral analysis.
From our studies we can conclude that the least amount of free mercury is detected in the sewage and mouthwash when an amalgam is being placed, followed by saliva of patients with more than 4 obturations, water in which amalgam has been kept for two weeks, mouthwash when amalgam is removed, and the biggest amount of mercury is released when polishing old amalgam obturations. The most dangerous to human health is polishing old obturations, followed by removal, while the least amount of mercury is released when such obturations are placed. Our research shows that if you are a dentist, even if you do not use dental amalgam, you are exposed to mercury vapor when you are working in the mouth of a patient with this material.