J Korean Acad Oral Health.  2013 Dec;37(4):194-199.

Impact of amalgam removal on urinary mercury concentration in children: a pilot study

  • 1Department of Preventive Dentistry, Kyungpook National University School of Dentistry, Daegu, Korea. cyh1001@knu.ac.kr


OBJECTIVES: This pilot study aimed to evaluate the effect of dental amalgam, a restorative material, on children by measuring the mercury concentration in the urine as well as the number of teeth filled with dental amalgam.
Twenty children enrolled in grades 1-4 of two elementary schools in Daegu participated in this study. One trained dentist performed oral examinations and removed amalgam restorations from the teeth with a high and low speed handpiece. In order to measure the urinary mercury concentrations, urine samples were collected from all participants at baseline and immediately and 24 hours after removal of the dental amalgam restorations.
The mean number of teeth from which the amalgam restorations was removed was 9.8 while the mean urinary mercury concentrations at baseline, immediately, and 24 hours after removal of dental amalgam restorations were 2.66, 2.76, and 2.76 microg/g creatinine, respectively. The mean urinary mercury concentration increased consistently after amalgam restoration removal. For those participants whose removed amalgamated surfaces were more than 11, the mean urinary mercury concentration immediately after amalgam restoration removal and 24 hours after removal increased consistently but showed no significant difference.
This study demonstrated that dental amalgam restoration was related to urinary mercury concentration, and these findings present a possibility of mercury accumulation in the body. Therefore, we suggest future longitudinal studies to ensure the safety of children exposed to mercury by establishing criteria for amalgam removal.


Amalgam removal; Children; Urinary mercury concentration
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