Total Topics :1155

Properties of Amalgam.

The most important physical properties of amalgam are

  • Coefficient of thermal expansion = 25-1 >ppm/ C (thus amalgams allow percolation during temperature changes)
  • Thermal conductivity-high (therefore, amalgams need insulating liner or base in deep restorations)
  • Flow and creep. Flow and creep are characteristics that deal with an amalgam undergoing deformation when stressed. The lower the creep value of an amalgam, the better the marginal integrity of the restoration. Alloys with high copper content usually have lower creep values than the conventional silver-tin alloys.

 Dimensional change. An amalgam can expand or contract depending upon its usage. Dimensional change can be minimized by proper usage of alloy and mercury. Dimensional change on setting, less than ± 20 (excessive expansion can produce post operative pain)

  •  Compression strength. Sufficient strength to resist fracture is an important requirement for any restorative material. At a 50 percent mercury content, the compression strength is approximately 52,000 psi. In comparison, the compressive strength of dentin and enamel is 30,000 psi and 100,000 psi, respectively. The strength of an amalgam is determined primarily by the composition of the alloy, the amount of residual mercury remaining after condensation, and the degree of porosity in the amalgam restoration.
  • Electrochemical corrosion produces penetrating corrosion of low-copper amalgams but only produces superficial corrosion of high copper amalgams, so they last longer
  • Because of low tensile strength, enamel support is needed at margins
  • Spherical high-copper alloys develop high tensile strength faster and can be polished sooner
  • Excessive creep is associated with silver mercury phase of low-copper amalgams and contributes to early marginal fracture
  • Marginal fracture correlated with creep and electrochemical corrosion in low-copper amalgams
  • Bulk fracture (isthmus fracture) occurs across thinnest portions of amalgam restorations because  of high stresses during traumatic occlusion and/or the accumulated effects of fatigue
  • Dental amalgam is very resistant to abrasion


Glycogen Metabolism

The formation of glycogen from glucose is called Glycogenesis


Glycogen is a polymer of glucose residues linked mainly by a(1→ 4)  glycosidic linkages. There are a(1→6) linkages at branch points. The chains and branches are longer than shown. Glucose is stored as glycogen predominantly in liver and muscle cells

Glycogen Synthesis

Uridine diphosphate glucose (UDP-glucose) is the immediate precursor for glycogen synthesis. As glucose residues are added to glycogen, UDP-glucose is the substrate and UDP is released as a reaction product. Nucleotide diphosphate sugars are precursors also for synthesis of other complex carbohydrates, including oligosaccharide chains of glycoproteins, etc.

UDP-glucose is formed from glucose-1-phosphate and uridine triphosphate (UTP)

glucose-1-phosphate + UTP → UDP-glucose + 2 Pi

Cleavage of PPi is the only energy cost for glycogen synthesis (1P bond per glucose residue)

Glycogenin initiates glycogen synthesis. Glycogenin is an enzyme that catalyzes glycosylation of one of its own tyrosine residues.

Physiological regulation of glycogen metabolism

Both synthesis and breakdown of glycogen are spontaneous. If glycogen synthesis and phosphorolysis were active simultaneously in a cell, there would be a futile cycle with cleavage of 1 P bond per cycle

To prevent such a futile cycle, Glycogen Synthase and Glycogen Phosphorylase are reciprocally regulated, both by allosteric effectors and by covalent modification (phosphorylation)

Glycogen catabolism (breakdown)

Glycogen Phosphorylase catalyzes phosphorolytic cleavage of the →(14) glycosidic linkages of glycogen, releasing glucose-1-phosphate as the reaction product.

Glycogen (n residues) + Pi → glycogen (n-1 residues) + glucose-1-phosphate


The Major product of glycogen breakdown is glucose -1-phosphate

Fate of glucose-1-phosphate in relation to other pathways:

Phosphoglucomutase catalyzes the reversible reaction:

Glucose-1-phosphate → Glucose-6-phosphate


Classification :

1) Distortion.
2) Surface roughness .
3) Porosity .
4)Incomplete casting .
5) Oxidation .
6) Sulfur contamination .

It is usually due to the distortion of wax pattern.

To avoid this :
Manipulation of the wax at its softening temp
Invest the pattern at the earliest .
If storage is necessary store it in a refrigerator .
Surface roughness

May be due to :
Air bubbles on the wax pattern .
Cracks due to rapid heating of the investment .
High W/P ratio .
Prolonged heating of the mold cavity .
Overheating of the gold alloy .
Too high or too low casting pressure .
Composition of the investment .
Foreign body inclusion.

May be internal or external .
External porosity causes discolouration .
Internal porosity weakens the restoration .

Classification of porosity .
I .Those caused by solidification shrinkage :
a) Localised shrinkage porosity .
b) Suck back porosity .
c) Microporosity .

They are usually irregular in shape .

II ) Those caused by gas :

a) Pin hole porosity .
b) Gas inclusions .
c) Subsurface porosity .

Usually they are spherical in shape .

III ) Those caused by air trapped in the mold :

Back pressure porosity .

Localised shrinkage porosity

Large irregular voids found near sprue casting junction.
Occurs when cooling sequence is incorrect .
If the sprue solidifies before the rest of the casting , no more molten metal is supplied from the sprue which can cause voids or pits (shrink pot porosity )

This can be avoided by -
- using asprue of correct thickness .
- Attach the sprue to the thickest portion of the pattern .
-Flaring of the sprue at the point of atttachment .
-Placing a reservoir close to the pattern .

Suck back porosity

It is an external void seen in the inside of a crown opposite the sprue .
Hot spot is created which freezes last .
It is avoided by :
Reducing the temp difference between the mold & molten alloy .

Microporosity :

Fine irregular voids within the casting .
Occurs when casting freezes rapidly .
Also when mold or casting temp is too low .

Pin hole porosity :
Upon solidification the dissolved gases are expelled from the metal causing tiny voids .
Pt & Pd absorb Hydrogen .
Cu & Ag absorb oxygen .

Gas inclusion porosities

Larger than pin hole porosities .
May be due to dissolved gases or due to gases Carried in or trapped by molten metal .
Apoorly adjusted blow torech can also occlude gases .

Back pressure porosity

This is caused by inadequate venting of the mold .The sprue pattern length should be adjusted so that there is not more than ¼” thickness of the investmentbetween the bottom of the casting .
This can be prevented by :
- using adequate casting force .
-use investment of adequate porosity .
-place the pattern not more than 6-8 mm away from tne end of the casting .
Casting with gas blow holes
This is due to any wax residue in the mold .
To eliminate this the burnout should be done with the sprue hol facing downwards for the wax pattern to run down.

Incomplete casting

This is due to :
- insufficient alloy .
-Alloy not able to enter thin parts of the mold .
-When the mold is not heated to the casting temp .
-Premature solidification of the alloy .
-sprues blocked with foreign bodies .
-Back pressure of gases .
-low casting pressure .
-Alloy not sufficiently molten .

Too bright & shiny casting with short & rounded margins :
occurs when wax is eliminated completely ,it combines with oxygen or air to form carbon monoxide .

Small casting :

occurs when proper expansion is not obtained & due to the shrinkage of the impression .

Contamination of the casting
1) Due to overheating there is oxidation of metal .
2) Use of oxidising zone of the flame .
3) Failure to use a flux .
4) Due to formation sulfur compounds .

Black casting

It is due to :
1) Overheating of the investment .
2) Incomplete elimination of the wax .

Water: comprises 60 - 90% of most living organisms (and cells) important because it serves as an excellent solvent & enters into many metabolic reactions

  • Intracellular (inside cells) = ~ 34 liters
  • Interstitial (outside cells) = ~ 13 liters
  • Blood plasma = ~3 liters

40% of blood is red blood cells (RBCs)

plasma is similar to interstitial fluid, but contains plasma proteins

serum = plasma with clotting proteins removed

intracellular fluid is very different from interstitial fluid (high K concentration instead of high Na concentration, for example)

  • Capillary walls (1 cell thick) separate blood from interstitial fluid
  • Cell membranes separate intracellular and interstitial fluids
  • Loss of about 30% of body water is fatal


Ions = atoms or molecules with unequal numbers of electrons and protons:

  • found in both intra- & extracellular fluid
  • examples of important ions include sodium, potassium, calcium, and chloride

Ions (Charged Atoms or Molecules) Can Conduct Electricity

  • Giving up electron leaves a + charge (cation)
  • Taking on electron produces a - charge (anion)
  • Ions conduct electricity
  • Without ions there can be no nerves or excitability
    • Na+ and K+ cations  
    • Ca2+ and Mg2+ cations  control metabolism and trigger muscle contraction and secretion of hormones and transmitters

Na+ & K+ are the Major Cations in Biological Fluids

  • High K+ in cells, high Na+ outside
  • Ion gradients maintained by Na pump (1/3 of basal metabolism)
  • Think of Na+ gradient as a Na+ battery- stored electrical energy
  • K+ gradient forms a K+ battery
  • Energy stored in Na+ and K+ batteries can be tapped when ions flow
  • Na+ and K+ produce action potential of excitable cells