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VOLUME 4 , ISSUE 2 ( April-June, 2013 ) > List of Articles


Mercury Hygiene Practices followed in Dental Clinics in Pune: A Survey

Srinidhi Surya Raghavendra, Nishita Ranadive

Citation Information : Raghavendra SS, Ranadive N. Mercury Hygiene Practices followed in Dental Clinics in Pune: A Survey. World J Dent 2013; 4 (2):92-95.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10015-1210

Published Online: 01-06-2013

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2013; The Author(s).



Amalgam has proved to be among the most versatile and durable of all restorative materials. Mercury in various forms has been found to be toxic. Dental personnel can be exposed to mercury in myriad ways like direct skin contact or exposure to mercury vapors through spillage or during various steps of restoration. Proper storage and recycling of waste amalgam has been a challenge. Waste amalgam and spent capsules may be disposed of in the general office refuse and they later enter municipal dumps or incinerators.

Along with the need for amalgam recycling, the knowledge of the dentists about the deleterious effects, method of handling, effective storage and efficient disposal of amalgam scrap is vital. It was felt that the method used by the third party agency for disposing amalgam scrap should be mentioned.

Materials and methods

A confidential questionnaire was formed of close- and open-ended questions regarding the awareness of toxic effects of mercury, its handling and storage prior to disposal. This was distributed randomly to 100 private practitioners in Pune city, Maharashtra state, India. A response rate of 75% was obtained. The results were analyzed.


All the dentists surveyed were aware of the toxic effects of mercury. Thirty-four percent were storing the scrap in the ADA-recommended method, 23% were replacing more than 5 to 10 amalgam restorations with esthetic alternatives per week, 32% used high volume evacuation while removing old fillings and 94% of them had evacuation into the common drain without any recapture systems.


We need to develop a comprehensive waste management plan for the disposal of amalgam scrap. Guidelines need to be established not only among the dentists but also with the waste disposal agency. This will go a long way in reducing the deleterious effects of mercury in the environment.

How to cite this article

Srinidhi SR, Ranadive N. Mercury Hygiene Practices followed in Dental Clinics in Pune: A Survey. World J Dent 2013;4(2):92-95.

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