The release of mercury from amalgam restorations and its health effects: A review

H. W. Roberts, D. G. Charlton

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Amalgam has successfully been used as a restorative material in dentistry for over a century. It has proven to be a cost-effective, wear-resistant material which, when properly placed, can provide many years of service. However, amalgam's popularity has decreased in recent years due, in part, to patient concerns about its potential for adversely affecting their health. Other reasons for its reduced use include the increased emphasis on more esthetic restorative materials and environmental concerns regarding the amount of mercury discharged into wastewater from dental offices. Controversy persists about amalgam's possible role in causing health problems due to its release of mercury. Although conclusive evidence is lacking that directly correlates amalgam with adverse health effects, clinicians should remain knowledgeable about mercury release from amalgam in order to intelligently address their patients' concerns. This article reviews the latest published scientific literature to provide this information.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)605-614
Number of pages10
JournalOperative Dentistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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