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Amalgam Debate Conclusion

5/5 – Panel Delibration and Our Thoughts

Panel Chair Marjorie Jeffcoat and multiple panel members suggested that the FDA should not just rely on averages but carefully consider the distribution of exposure and consider stratifying the exposure for children and other groups. This is in relation to data supporting safe exposure levels of mercury from amalgam being either 1 to 5 micrograms per day on average. The averages might be 1 to 3, but the distribution might be 1 to 22 micrograms per day.

Panel dentist Joel White was clear about what needed to be communicated: ?Because of the unknown risks, dentists should consider not placing in pregnant and nursing women. Dentists should consider not placing in patients with neurologic or kidney impairment or function. Avoid placing in patients who have allergic or hypersensitivity to mercury. The labeling should also include some language regarding should consider reducing mercury exposure levels to the environment, to the patient and to personnel, as well as using accepted protocols for safe handling, safe use, safe disposal and safe removal from patients.?

Mathias Berlin, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Medicine who prepared a report in 2003 as part of a special investigation for the Swedish Government on amalgam related health issues concluded: ?For medical reasons, amalgam should be eliminated in dental care as soon as possible. This will confer gains in 3 respects. The prevalence of side-effects from patients? mercury exposure will decline; occupational exposure to mercury can cease in dental care; and one of our largest sources of mercury in the environment can be eliminated.?

However, in saying that, it has been 5 years since the debate but there has not been major changes to amalgam and its handling precautions by any large professional bodies. It is always touted as a safe filling with almost 200 year old track-record despite major health concerns it poses.

That said, at Image Dental, we strive to change the way we look at dentistry. We are big on holistic health and believe amalgam isn’t as “safe” as it is said to be.