Surface treatment of mercury-free alloys.

S. B. Geiger, D. Gurbatov, M. P. Dariel, F. C. Eichmiller, R. Liberman, M. Ratzker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Finishing and polishing methods were examined for two metallic direct restorative materials being proposed as possible alternatives to amalgam, namely a gallium alloy and a consolidated silver alloy. The polished surfaces were compared to a conventional spherical amalgam (Tytin). After initial surface treatment with a 12-fluted tungsten carbide bur in a high-speed dental hand-piece, three polishing methods were evaluated: slow-speed polishing burs, rubber polishing points, and polishing disks (Sof-Lex). Each of these methods was followed by an additional surface treatment in which a pumice-flour/water slurry was applied with a rotary brush and a final surface treatment with a zinc-oxide/ethanol slurry that was applied with rotary rubber cups. The surface roughness was evaluated by profilometric measurements and light microscopy. The results showed that the smoothest surfaces for all metals were achieved with rotary finishing and polishing disks. Using the rubber points resulted in surfaces that were statistically similar to the disk-polished surfaces on all three materials. The polished surface of gallium alloy was consistently slightly rougher than that of amalgam. The consolidated silver also presented a consistently rougher surface than did amalgam, although these differences were not statistically significant. The additional polishing with pumice and zinc oxide improved the luster, but did not significantly improve the measured surface smoothness in any of the restorative materials studied.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-108
Number of pages6
JournalOperative Dentistry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1999
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dentistry (all)


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