I wanted to take a moment to share some encouraging dental news. After “over 20 years” of “reviewing scientific literature, monitoring reports, and holding public discussions regarding the public health effects of dental amalgam” the FDA has finally acknowledged that mercury from dental amalgam may be dangerous for some individuals. This information has been recognized worldwide for quite some time, with many countries having gone as far as banning the use of dental amalgam. While the FDA has taken a little longer to reach this conclusion, I feel this marks a big step in the right direction for the agency and for the Americans it represents.
Dental amalgam, approximately half of which is elemental mercury by weight, releases small amounts of mercury vapor over time. The FDA’s statement (a link to which is provided below) acknowledges that certain “high-risk groups” may be affected by this exposure.
Those groups include:
- Pregnant women and their developing fetuses;
- Women who are planning to become pregnant;
- Nursing women and their newborns and infants;
- Children, especially those younger than six years of age;
- People with pre-existing neurological disease such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease;
- People with impaired kidney function; and
- People with known heightened sensitivity (allergy) to mercury or other components of dental amalgam.
The FDA now recommends that individuals in these groups avoid getting dental amalgam fillings, opting instead for composite resins. As a patient of mine, you know that I am passionate about this issue. I have not placed a dental amalgam filling in nearly 6 years, chiefly out of concern for my patients’ health and well-being. What’s more, I adhere to the strict guidelines outlined by the International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology for the safe removal of such fillings, in order to decrease my patients’ (and my staff’s) risk from exposure to this toxin. So, while it may be 20 more years before the FDA bans the use of dental amalgam outright, you can take comfort in knowing that we here at Page Dental Group will continue to stay at (or beyond) the forefront of dental research and safety protocols.
Please read more – FDA recommendations regarding dental-amalgam.