The future of dental amalgam: a review of the literature. Part 2: Mercury exposure in dental practice

Br Dent J. 1997 Apr 26;182(8):293-7. doi: 10.1038/sj.bdj.4809370.


This is the second article in a series of seven on the future of dental amalgam. It describes the means of exposure to mercury which can occur in dental surgeries from the storage of mercury, preparation and placement of dental amalgam restorations, polishing dental amalgam restorations, the removal of amalgam fillings and the storage of waste amalgam. It also reports on the monitoring of dental practices and studies on the mercury air levels in dental surgeries and blood and urine levels in dentists and their staff. Also, studies which compare these levels with the health and neurobehaviour of dentists and their staff are included. In addition, it discusses post-mortem studies of the mercury levels in body organs in dentists and controls. It then recommends methods for the safe handling of mercury and dental amalgam. Finally, it discusses the issues surrounding the release of mercury into the environment from dental practices and industry.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollution, Indoor
  • Body Burden
  • Dental Amalgam*
  • Dental Waste
  • Dentistry*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mercury / analysis*
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Occupational Health
  • Water Pollution, Chemical


  • Dental Waste
  • Dental Amalgam
  • Mercury