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Amalgam in and out of body

Human Anatomy, Physiology, and Medicine. Anything human!

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Amalgam in and out of body

Postby ohiolighthouse » Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:44 pm

I'm in dental assisting school. We've been discussing amalgam restorations. The hazzards of handling amalgam. One of the questions that came up was:

"Why is it "safe" to have amalgam restorations in the mouth but it's very hazardous and toxic to handle it outside of the body?"

I have researched and researched and have not been able to come up with an answer or a web site that can direct me to answers. If someone can help me along with this or direct me to some knowledgable reading i would appreciate it.

Thanks in advance!
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Postby canalon » Thu Jan 31, 2008 2:48 am

The fact is that the mercury as a metal is not really toxic, it is the salts that ae toxic. But when you have pure mercury it can oxidise quickly and release toxic vapours. I guess that once amalgamated it does not oxidise that easily. At least deep in your mouth and mostly wet do not leave a lot of opportunity for oxidation.

More detail, and your question is discussed in that page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mercury_%28element%29
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any proof. (Ashley Montague)
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