Oral galvanism occurs when metals of different electrical potentials are placed in contact with each other. Its significance is controversial.


It has been reported with dental fillings and dental implants.


The potential differences between materials are small when similar materials are in contact. The largest potential difference are between amalgam and a noble metal such as gold or silver (mean 62 mV).



(1) The onset of oral signs and symptoms (erythema, pain, discomfort) after dental restoration.

(2) The presence of two types of metals in contact that have different electrical potentials high enough to be considered significant.

(3) Excessive corrosion of the metals involved.

(4) Exclusion of alternative explanations such as gastric reflux, acidic drink or bruxism.

(5) Reversal of findings when incompatible materials are removed or insulated from each other.


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