The purpose of this study was to quantify the relative strength tolerance of 1-day and 30-day amalgam following saturation contamination with water, saliva, blood, and handpiece lubricant oil during condensation.

Methods and Materials:

Valiant PhD XT amalgam was tested with 300 shear-strength (N=15) and 120 compressive-strength (N=6) specimens, divided into 1-day and 30-day groups, each with control, water, saliva, blood, and lubricant oil contamination samples. Shear specimens were condensed in 4 × 4-mm anchor wells inundated with contaminant fluids before adding a ring mold with 3.5-mm-diameter central hole adapted immediately to the top for continued condensation under contaminant-submerged conditions. Compressive specimen samples were condensed while completely inundated by each contaminant using the American Dental Association Specification No. 1 amalgam mold apparatus. All specimens were tested with the Instron E3000 and E10000 at 0.5 mm/min, with data statistically evaluated using the Kruskal-Wallis procedure with IBM SPSS v25 and Wilcoxon signed ranks test.


Shear test values (mean±SD) following intracapsular and extracapsular contamination after 30 days under 100% humidity at 37°C were as follows: control, 30.97±5.41 MPa; water, 30.63 ±4.41 MPa; saliva, 27.54 ±4.56 MPa; blood, 24.92 ±3.48 MPa; lubricant oil, 26.06 ±4.06 MPa. Compressive strengths (±SD) of similarly contaminated samples were as follows: control, 447.7 ±76.3 MPa; water, 343.6 ±70.1 MPa; saliva, 307.7 ±24.0 MPa; blood, 281.6 ±35.2 MPa; lubricant oil, 227.8 ±16.9 MPa.


Saliva, blood, and handpiece oil diminish compressive strength significantly, but water shows no statistically significant effect (p>0.05). Amalgam 30-day shear strength is significantly altered by contamination with water, blood, or handpiece lubricant oil (p<0.05). Remaining amalgam strength after extensive contamination may still be clinically functional relative to a previous ADA recommendation and when compared with resin-based direct restorative materials.

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