Mercury in solution following exposure of various amalgams to carbamide peroxides.

T. W. Hummert, J. W. Osborne, B. K. Norling, H. L. Cardenas

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26 Scopus citations


Carbamide peroxide (CP) is an easily administered material for whitening teeth. Although toxicological research on CP alone has revealed no adverse health effects, possible oxidation and release of mercury from amalgams have not previously been investigated. This research evaluated the quantitative release of mercury from amalgams into solution by CP. CP preparations can generally be divided into two classes based on the presence or absence of carbopol, an oxygen-releasing inhibitor. Rembrandt (R), a 10% CP with carbopol and White and Brite (WB), a 10% CP without carbopol were used in this study. Four different types of amalgams [Dispersalloy (D), Sybraloy (S), Tytin (T) and Valiant Ph.D. (V)] were selected. Uniform samples of the four amalgams were prepared and stored at 37 degrees C for 1 week. Vials of saline (10 ml), R and WB were prepared. R and WB were mixed with saline to a 50:50 solution to reduce viscosity and facilitate stirring. Magnetic teflon coated stir bars were placed in all vials, and one amalgam specimen was placed in each non-control vial. After being stirred for 8 hours, solutions were analyzed for elemental mercury content using a Jerome Gold Film Mercury Analyzer. All background mercury levels were zero, but following the experiment there were significantly higher amounts of mercury in the CP solutions as compared to the 100% saline solutions. These results suggest there is an active oxidation of the amalgam releasing mercury ions into solution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-309
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican journal of dentistry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry(all)


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