To investigate Nigerian dentists’ perception of amalgam safety and to highlight the dentists’ attitude toward amalgam. A cross-sectional survey of all dentists in Southeastern Nigeria was done using a self-administered, structured questionnaire. The report recorded a 90.9% response rate. More specialists (95.7%) than general dentists (74.5%) agreed to the safety of amalgam. Furthermore, more patients seen by the general dentists (85.1%) than by specialists (34.88%) agreed with amalgam safety. Undergraduates’ education (82.9%) was the highest source of awareness of the amalgam controversy, followed by inquires (64.3%), colleagues (47.1%), TV/radio (41.4%), conferences (27.1%) and continuing dental education (15.7%). About 37% of respondents knew all the signs and symptoms of amalgam toxicity, while 47.1% of respondents knew that the lung is the fastest route for mercury absorption. About 81.0% of dentists do not support an amalgam ban and 84.3% would not even recommend an alternative to amalgam. Amalgam is well accepted by both dentists and patients in the studied population.
Operative Dentistry 07/2008; 33(4):467-71. DOI:10.2341/07-123