The dissolution of mercury, silver, and copper from polished and unpolished surfaces of low- and high-copper amalgams into saline was investigated with respect to time via atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Greater amounts of mercury and silver were released from unpolished than from polished surfaces. Ion release was greatest during the first three hours after trituration of all amalgams. The rate of dissolution of ions from amalgams into saline is considered to be very low once the amalgam has set, and is probably inhibited by the formation of a surface film formed during immersion.
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