Effect of sodium hypochlorite and EDTA on mercury released from amalgam

Ilan Rotstein*, Munir Karawani, Sharonit Sahar-Helft, Chaim Mor, Doron Steinberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objectives. The effect of sodium hypochlorite (NaOCI) and EDTA on mercury released from dental amalgam was assessed in vitro. Study design. Fifty-six samples of dental amalgam of similar size were prepared and exposed to a 10-mL solution of either 1% NaOCI, 3% NaOCI, 10% EDTA in 1% NaOCI, or 10% EDTA in 3% NaOCI for periods of 20, 40, and 60 minutes. Mercury concentrations in the solutions were measured by using a cold-vapor atomic absorption Mercury Analyzer System, and the differences between the groups were statistically analyzed. Results. All amalgam samples exposed to 1% NaOCI and 3% NaOCI - either alone or in combination with EDTA - released mercury into the solutions. Mercury release was significantly higher in the test groups than in the EDTA, distilled water, or phosphate buffer controls (P < .001). Increase in the mean concentration levels of mercury in solution was time-dependent and directly related to NaOCI concentration. The addition of EDTA caused a reduction in mercury levels detected in solution, which was more significant in amalgam samples exposed to 1% NaOCI combined with EDTA (P < .001). Conclusions. NaOCI solutions commonly used for root canal cleaning and shaping cause mercury release from dental amalgam and may alter its chemo-physical properties as a sealant for root perforations.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)556-560
Number of pages5
JournalOral Surgery, Oral Medicine, Oral Pathology, Oral Radiology, and Endodontics
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2001
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Partially supported by a grant from the Joining Research Fund of the Hebrew University–Hadassah Faculty of Dental Medicine, founded by the Alpha Omega Fraternity and the Hadassah Medical Organization and partially supported by the Jean-Marie Laurichesse I.F.E.A. Research Grant.


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