A Review on Dental Amalgam Corrosion and Its Consequences

M Fathi, V Mortazavi


Dental amalgam is still the most useful restorative material for posterior teeth and has been successfully used for over a century. Dental amalgam has been widely used as a direct filling material due to its favorable mechanical properties as well as low cost and easy placement. However, the mercury it contains raises concerns about its biological toxicity and environmental hazard. Although in use for more than 150 years, dental amalgam has always been suspected more or less vigorously due to its alleged health hazard. Amalgam restorations often tarnish and corrode in oral environment. Corrosion of dental amalgam can cause galvanic action. Ion release as a result of corrosion is most important. Humans are exposed to mercury and other main dental metals via vapor or corrosion products in swallowed saliva and also direct absorption into blood from oral mucosa. During recent decades the use of dental amalgam has been discussed with respect to potential toxic effects of mercury components. In this article, the mechanisms of dental amalgam corrosion are described and results of researches are reviewed. It finally covers the corrosion of amalgams since this is the means by which metals, including mercury, can be released within oral cavity.
Keywords: Dental amalgam, Amalgam corrosion, Biocompatibility, Mercury release, Amalgam restoration

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