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Minerva Medicolegale 2010 July-December;130(3-4):163-9

language: English, Italian

Silver intoxication following intraoral galvanic corrosion: medico-legal report

Santoro V., Lozito P., De Donno A., Introna F.

Section of Legal Medicine, University of Bari, Bari, Italy


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Galvanic corrosion is an electrochemical reaction between dissimilar metals that cause the release of ions into the bloodstream. Electrolytic corrosion results when a galvanic couple is formed, resulting in the passage/conduction of an electrical current. This may be trigger distinct oral signs and symptoms in some patients. The authors describe a case of a 55-year-old woman with a pre-existing removable partial denture at the maxillary arch anchored to two dental crowns provided by one dentist, and who sought out treatment of two decayed teeth from another dentist. This second one deemed it necessary to perform endodontic treatment along with the insertion of two silver posts and two prosthetic crowns. Approximately two months following the procedure the patient began to notice a metallic taste in her mouth accompanied by xerostomia. The symptoms subsequently became more severe and systemic in nature, also accompanied by tremors, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, fainting and ocular symptoms such as constant redness and lacrimation. A review of the corrosive nature of dental amalgam that include signs or symptoms is reported as well as the symptoms typical of the silver toxicity. Moreover, it is also considered the medico-legal point of view for the possible injuries caused by treatment.

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