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Possible hazardous effects of hydrofluoric acid and recommendations for treatment approach: a review

Abstract

Hydrofluoric acid (HF) is commonly used for conditioning the glass ceramics either prior to cementation or for intraoral repair in prosthetic and restorative dentistry. The present study offers a review of chemical properties of HF used, highlight the possible hazardous effects of this agent, and to recommend the treatment approach for potential risks. Available published information documented in PubMed, Medline, and Picarta literature databases was reviewed. Additional information was derived from scientific reports, medical and chemical textbooks, handbooks, product information, manufacturers’ instructions, Internet web sites of the HF manufacturers. No report was found on the incidence of the hazardous effects of HF in dentistry. Reports from other fields presented incidences of acute and chronic symptoms in exposure to HF. While acute symptoms include skin or nail burns, chronic ones involve systemic toxicity, eye injuries, inhalation and ingestion-related symptoms that can be even fatal. HF can be harmful and particularly aggressive to soft tissues, but symptoms may not be apparent immediately after exposure. The hazardous effects are not based on the pH value, but on the toxicity of HF. Potential hazards of HF known from other applications than dentistry should be considered also in dental applications. Especially the clinicians, who often deal with adhesive cementation or repair of glass ceramics, should take necessary precautions for possible hazards of HF.

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Acknowledgments

The authors thank to Assoc. Prof. Dr. H.G. Orhan, Ege University, School of Pharmacy, Department of Toxicology, Izmir, Turkey, for the helpful discussion and comments regarding to toxicity.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

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Correspondence to Mutlu Özcan.

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Özcan, M., Allahbeickaraghi, A. & Dündar, M. Possible hazardous effects of hydrofluoric acid and recommendations for treatment approach: a review. Clin Oral Invest 16, 15–23 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00784-011-0636-6

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Keywords

  • Dental ceramics
  • Dentistry
  • Hazardous compounds
  • Hydrofluoric acid