Perception of Patients with Amalgam Fillings about Toxicity of Mercury in Dental Amalgam

Tokunbo Cornelius, Shankargouda Patil
2012 Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice  
Objective: The objective of this study is to evaluate the awareness of patients with dental fillings about the toxicity of mercury in dental amalgam. Materials and methods: Adult patients having at least one amalgam filling in their mouth were recruited in the Oral Diagnosis Department of OAUTHC, Ile-Ife Dental Hospital. Participants were recruited consecutively as they report in the clinic. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire developed based on standard questions from relevant
more » ... publications. They were asked to indicate the type of filling material in their mouth, ingredients of the material, previous knowledge of mercury in dental amalgam and ailments due to mercury. They were to indicate their level of agreement with filling their cavities with dental amalgam despite prior information about its mercury content. Results: There were about 446 respondents analyzed; male, 194 (43.5%); female 252 (56.5%). Six (1.4%) and 21 (4.7%) respondents were primary and secondary schools students respectively; 15(3.4%) had no formal education while about 410 (91.9%) were either undergraduate or graduate. All of them had at least one amalgam filling. 249 (55%) participants know the type of filling on their teeth; 156 (34.5%) had the knowledge of the presence of mercury in dental amalgam while 26.1% believed mercury can cause problems in human beings. About 90 (19.9%) participants claimed to have heard about adverse reactions to dental amalgams and 34 (7.5%) of them have heard about people recovering from an illness after removal of their filling. The level of agreement with filling their cavities with amalgam despite prior knowledge of its mercury content was 74% while 60% was observed for allowing just any material to be placed on their teeth. Conclusion: Awareness of toxicity of mercury in dental amalgam was slightly low among the respondents studied. This may be suggested to be a reflection of nonexistent of global amalgam controversy in Nigeria.
doi:10.5005/jp-journals-10024-1139 fatcat:3jiwoh45brgkxaosnil36ntqm4