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J Biomed Mater Res B Appl Biomater. 2003 Oct 15;67(1):627-31.

Influence of dental biofilm on release of mercury from amalgam exposed to carbamide peroxide.

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Institute of Dental Sciences, Faculty of Dental Medicine, Hebrew University-Hadassah, Jerusalem, Israel.


Tooth bleaching is a popular procedure in modern aesthetic dentistry. Bleaching agents may affect amalgam restorations by altering the release of mercury. The aim of this study was to explore the effect of biofilm-coated amalgam restorations on the release of mercury in the presence of carbamide peroxide. Samples of SDI and Valliant amalgams were submerged for either 14 days or 7 months in buffered KCl after which they were coated with saliva, bacteria, and polysaccharides. The samples were exposed to 10% carbamide peroxide (CP) for 24 h. The amount of mercury released was examined for 120 h. Results showed that most of mercury release occurred within the first 24 h, after which the release rate decreased sharply. After 120 h the release of mercury from the tested samples was minimal and similar to the control group. The presence of biofilm coating on the amalgam samples did not induce the release of mercury but tended to reduce mercury release into the surrounding environment. CP induces the release of mercury from amalgam samples. However, the presence of biofilm did not prevent large amounts of mercury release from amalgam coated with biofilms and exposed to CP. This study indicates that dental biofilm may retard the release of mercury from amalgam restorations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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