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Scott E. Keith, DDS, MS, FACP
Quincy Gibbs, DDS

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Amalgams in prosthodontics


Posted on 4/24/2023 by Front Desk
Amalgams in prosthodonticsDental amalgam is a dental filling material used to fill cavities caused by tooth decay. Dental amalgam is a mixture of metals, consisting of liquid (elemental) mercury and a powdered alloy composed of silver, tin, and copper. When placing dental amalgam, our dentist first drills the tooth to remove the decay and then shapes the tooth cavity for placement of the amalgam filling. Next, under appropriate safety conditions, the dentist mixes the encapsulated powdered alloy with the liquid mercury to form an amalgam putty. This softened amalgam putty is placed and shaped in the prepared cavity, where it rapidly hardens into a solid filling. For bookings find our dentists today.

Effects of amalgams in prosthodontics


People can be exposed to mercury released from amalgams by breathing in mercury vapor or by swallowing either elemental mercury leeching from the fillings or small pieces of amalgam that detach from the filling and that can go on to release mercury inside the gut. Very little of the elemental mercury that comes into contact with the skin or that is swallowed is absorbed into the bloodstream. However, a large part of mercury breathed in as vapors are absorbed in the lungs and distributed to the entire body, reaching all organs.

The elemental mercury reacts and attaches itself to proteins within the body and is gradually eliminated, mainly through the urine and feces, reducing its concentration in the body by half every three months in the absence of any additional exposure. The highest concentration of mercury following exposure is usually found in the kidney. The exposure to mercury vapors from amalgam fillings is fairly low, 5 to 30 times lower than the limits set for workplace exposure, and many orders of magnitude lower than those that can cause long-term health effects. In cases of long-term and regular exposure to mercury vapors, for instance, in certain work environments considered poor by present standards, the central nervous system is particularly affected.

The neurological symptoms can include increased excitability and tremors in fingers, eyelids, and lips, which may progress to long-term shaking of hands and feet. In addition, it can affect the kidneys and cause inflammation of the gums and the production of excessive amounts of saliva with a strong metallic taste. Exposure to extremely high doses of mercury – as experienced by some individuals working under poor conditions – may also produce bronchitis and pneumonia.



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Dr. Keith and Dr. Gibbs

(925) 266-3550



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Walnut Creek, CA 94596


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Dr. Keith and Dr. Petrini have been proudly serving the Grater Bay Area community for many years and pride themselves on performing excellent services in general dentistry and dental implants.
Dental Implant Center at Walnut Creek, 1111 Civic Drive, Suite 320 Walnut Creek, CA 94596 | (925) 266-3550 | implantcenterwc.com | 4/9/2024 | Page Terms:dental implants Walnut Creek CA |