Although the use of alternatives to dental amalgam is increasing, the possible hazard associated with their occupational exposure has received inadequate attention. The purpose of this study is to use available toxicological and environmental information in a qualitative risk assessment to address potential health hazards associated with exposure to these materials by dental personnel. The members of dental profession should be aware of risk due to long-term exposure to dental materials.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dental laboratory technicians are exposed to dust and/or methyl methacrylate (MMA) in the workplace. Potential effects of the exposures on lung function merit further clarification.
This study measured lung function of 45 dental technicians, before and after shifts, on 3 workdays and monitored workplace concentrations of particulate matter with aerodynamic diameter less than 2.5 mm (PM2.5) and MMA in five dental laboratories in Taiwan. Base metals in particles were analyzed by X-ray fluorescence. Repeated measurement analysis was applied to estimate potential effects of PM2.5 on pulmonary function.
PM2.5 ranged from 26 microg/m3 to 664 microg/m3 and levels of MMA were low in these laboratories. Nickel, cobalt, and chromium were detected in the particles. After controlling for important factors, PM2.5 was associated with a small decrease in forced vital capacity and forced expiratory flow in one second.
Workplace PM2.5 was associated with a non-significant decrease in lung function of dental technicians.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine 02/2006; 49(2):85-92. DOI:10.1002/ajim.20249 · 1.74 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dental composites typically contain high amounts (up to 60 vol%) of nano-sized filler particles. There is a current concern that dental personnel (and patients) may inhale nano-sized dust particles (<100 nm) during abrasive procedures to shape, finish or remove restorations, but so far it has never been investigated whether airborne nanoparticles are released. In this study, composite dust was analyzed in real work conditions. Exposure measurements of dust in a dental clinic revealed high peak concentrations of nanoparticles in the breathing zone of both dentist and patient, especially during aesthetic treatments or treatments of worn teeth with composite build-ups. Further laboratory assessment confirmed that all tested composites released very high concentrations of airborne particles in the nano-range (>10(6) #/cm(3)). The median diameter of airborne composite dust varied between 38 and 70 nm. Electron microscopic and energy dispersive X-ray analysis confirmed that the airborne particles originated from the composite, and revealed that the dust particles consisted of either filler particles, resin or both. Though composite dust exhibited no significant oxidative reactivity, more toxicological research is needed. To conclude, upon manipulation with the bur, dental composites release high concentrations of nanoparticles that may enter deeply into the lungs.
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