Background: Dental amalgam is composed of approximately 50% elemental mercury. Despite concerns over the toxicity of mercury, amalgam is still the most widely used restorative material. Wi-Fi is a rapidly using local area wireless computer networking technology. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that evaluates the effect of exposure to Wi-Fi signals on mercury release from amalgam restorations.
Methods: Standard class V cavities were prepared on the buccal surfaces of 20 non-carious extracted human premolars. The teeth were randomly divided into 2 groups (n = 10). The control group was stored in non-environment. The specimens in the experimental groups were exposed to a radiofrequency radiation emitted from standard Wi Fi devices at 2.4 GHz for 20 min. The distance between the Wi-Fi router and samples was 30 cm and the router was exchanging data with a laptop computer that was placed 20 m away from the router. The concentration of mercury in the artificial saliva in the groups was evaluated by using a cold-vapor atomic absorption Mercury Analyzer System. The independent t test was used to evaluate any significant differences in mercury release between the two groups.
Results: The mean (±SD) concentration of mercury in the artificial saliva of the Wi-Fi exposed teeth samples was 0.056 ± .025 mg/L, while it was only 0.026 ± .008 mg/L in the non-exposed control samples. This difference was statistically significant (P =0.009).
Conclusion: Exposure of patients with amalgam restorations to radiofrequency radiation emitted from conventional Wi-Fi devices can increase mercury release from amalgam restorations.
Keywords: Amalgam; Mercury release, Radiofrequency, Electromagnetic fields; Wi-Fi.