Dental amalgam exposure can elevate urinary mercury concentrations in children.
Int Dent J. 2016 Jun ;66(3):136-43. Epub 2016 Feb 1. PMID: 26833490
OBJECTIVES: Owing to its cost-effectiveness and operative convenience, dental amalgam remains in use as a restorative material for tooth caries in children in many countries. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between dental amalgam exposure and urinary mercury (U-Hg) concentrations in children.
METHODS: In this longitudinal study, 463, 367 and 348 children, 8-11 years of age, were evaluated at baseline, and at the first and second follow-up visits, respectively. The interval between each survey was 6 months. For the oral examination and urine sample, the amalgam-filled tooth surface (TS), and U-Hg and creatinine concentrations of participants were determined, and the cumulative amalgam-filled TS and cumulative creatinine-adjusted U-Hg were calculated. To assess potential covariates, socio-demographic factors, oral health behaviour and dietary factors were surveyed by questionnaire. Data were analysed by the t-test, correlation analysis and mixed-model analysis. The statistical analyses were performed using SPSS 18.0.
RESULTS: Children with more than one amalgam-filled TS exhibited significantly higher creatinine-adjusted U-Hg concentrations than those without, in all three survey periods (P < 0.001). The results for the current and cumulative amalgam-filled TS significantly correlated with those for the current and cumulative creatinine-adjusted U-Hg concentration, respectively, in all surveys (P < 0.001). In the repeated-measures mixed model analysis, current and cumulative amalgam-filled TS was significantly related to current and cumulative creatinine-adjusted U-Hg concentration, respectively (P < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: Amalgam-filled TS was significantly correlated with U-Hg concentrations in children. Therefore, dental amalgam exposure can affect the systemic mercury concentration in children.