Influence of Dental Biofilm on Release of Mercury from Amalgam Exposed to Carbamide Peroxide

Doron Steinberg*, Ori Blank, Ilan Rotstein

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)627-631
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part B Applied Biomaterials
Issue number1
StatePublished - 15 Oct 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Amalgam
  • Carbamide peroxide
  • Dental biofilm
  • Mercury
  • Oral bacteria
  • Tooth bleaching


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