November 17, 2011 | By | Reply More


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Since the history of modern dentistry dental Amalgam is a very commonly used filling material. But  now a days it is revealed by  many  research program that it may be poisonous for people due to presence of its highly toxic constituent  Mercury .on  this concern we both Dr. Md.Moshior Rahman& Dr. MD.Ryad Ahmed tried to gather some informative information to raise the awareness of people about poisoning of mercury

What is Mercury ?

  •     Mercury is a chemical element with the symbol Hg and atomic number 80 & atomic mass 200.
  •     Its a heavy, silvery d-block metal,which is liquid at room temparature.
  •     Its melting point is  −38.83°C  and boiling point is  356.73°C.

Etiology of Mercury poisoning:

  •     Mercury poisoning is the result of too much exposure to the mercury.
  •      It may be caused by many methods of exposure but Dental Amalgam is the main cause.
  •      Usually It is released from filling when a person chews, teeth brushing, drinks, swallows & breathes, presence of bruxism,presence of gold crowns( even if covering mercury fillings) and also may be released when the filling become corroded. After  that it is absorbed by the lungs & digestive system into the blood stream.

Other sources of mercury poisoning are

ü Fish

ü The paint industry

ü Breaking thermometer

Effects of mercury poisoning in human Body

  • In children

1.Developmental disorders

Autism, Asperger’s.

2. Neurological

Decreased eye contact, flat affect, repeating certain actions over and over again, not responding to their name, poor concentration or attention, sensitivity to sensory stimulation. Common language or speech symptoms of mercury poisoning: loss of speech, delayed speech. In addition other symptoms include auto-immune disorders such as multiple sclerosis, juvenile diabetes, asthma, chronic ear infections and decreased immunity

  • In Adult

1. Psychological disturbances
Angry fits, short term memory loss, low self esteem, inability to sleep, loss of self-control, sleepiness.
2. Oral Cavity problems
Inflammation of the mouth, loss of bone around teeth, ulcerated gums and other areas in the mouth, loose teeth, darkening of gums, taste of metal, bleeding of gums.
3. Digestive tract problems
Cramps, inflamed colon, GI problems, Diarrhea and other digestive problems.
4. Cardiovascular problems
Weak pulse, blood pressure changes, chest pain, or feeling of pressure in the chest area.
5. Respiratory problems
Weakness and problems with breathing, Emphysema, Coughing persistently.
6 Neurological Problems
Headaches, vertigo, tinnitus, shaking in various areas of the body (eye lids, feet etc)


However mercury is not only responsible for all of the above disease but if these symptoms are present then it is logical to check for the presence of mercury poisoning.
It may be diagnosed through presence of  mercury in blood & urine on the basis of present diagnostic standards for mercury toxicity.

Prevention & Precaution

q Personal hygiene

  • Hand contamination can be minimized by using disposable gloves or by application of barrier cream.
  • If hands are contaminated with mercury  then it must be washed immediately with hot and cold water and soap then dried with towel.
  • Musk & goggles must be used.
  • Cuts in the skin must be protected before handling of mercury

q Working environment

  • All dental room should be efficiently ventilated and filters in air conditioning systems should be checked on a regular basis and changed as necessary.
  • Floor should be covered with linole or polyvinyl chloride with minimum number of joints. tiles floor or carpet should be avoided.
  • All operations involving the use of mercury should be confined to a single designated area in the surgery. The work surface itself should be of  a smooth impervious material such as formica. A wooden or metal bench should be avoided or if used covered with plastic sheeting
  • Instrument contaminated with mercury should be cleaned separately in an isolated area.
  • A conventional vacuum  cleaner should never be used. 1% polysulphide can be used to clean the working surface and floor.

q Storage of metallic mercury

  • All mercury should be stored in a cool place in a well sealed clearly labeled container suitable container include plastic, glass and ceramics. metal should be avoided.

q Consume of wastes mercury

  • After squeezing of excess mercury it should be immerge in photographic fixer solution.

q Monitoring of mercury exposure

  • The concentration of mercury vapour  in the air should be measure, the threshold limit value for 8 hour working day = 0.05 mg Hg per cm.


The followings are some of the latest treatment for mercury poisoning:

  • Chelation
  • Activated charcoal
  • Gastric lavage
  • IV fluids
  • Dimercaprol
  • Tetracycline


At the preparatory level of our presentation topics we were doubtful about the reality of mercury poisoning but when we finished our work we are confirmed this is something that everyone needs to be warned about. There are many people’s lives that are being ruined unnecessarily and many others that are tragically ended because of mercury poisoning.

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