Oral amalgam pigmentations (tattoos): A retrospective study

Barry M. Owens, William W. Johnson, Norman J. Schuman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Oral amalgam tattoos are typically asymptomatic, benign, solitary or mttltiple clinical lesions produced by inadvertent placement of dental silver amalgam restorative tnaterial into the oral soft tissues. Diffuse lesions often display a grayish brown discoloration while other tattoos present a darker blue-black coturast. One hundred sixty-eight biopsy reports that confirmed the diagnosis of amalgam tattoo were analyzed to find age, sex. and race of the patients and size, location, and duration of occurrence of the lesions. Among the 168 cases. 235 individual tissue specimetis were dentified. A majority of the specimens were taken from the buccal mucosa, gingiva, and alveolar mucosa. The most common site for the lesion was the mandibular arch. The size of the individual specimens ranged from O.10 cm to 1.50 cm. Almost two thirds of the specimens were 0.40 cm or less.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)805-810
Number of pages6
JournalQuintessence international
Issue number12
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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