Navigation Links
Amalgam fillings are safe, but skeptics still claim controversy, researcher says
Date:4/2/2009

AUGUSTA, Ga. Dental amalgam has been proven safe and effective for years, yet unfounded controversy still surrounds it, a Medical College of Georgia researcher says.

Dentists have used amalgam, an alloy of mercury with at least one other metal, in fillings for over 200 years. Amalgam fillings don't contain enough mercury to cause potential health problems associated with larger doses, says Dr. Rod Mackert, professor of dental materials in the MCG School of Dentistry Department of Oral Rehabilitation.

"The dose makes the poison," he says, quoting 16th century Swiss physician Paracelsus. A person would need between 265 and 310 amalgam fillings before even slight symptoms of mercury toxicity could be felt. A person with seven fillings, which is average, absorbs only about one microgram of mercury daily. About six micrograms are absorbed daily from food, water and air, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

To create a dental filling, liquid mercury dissolves and reacts with a powder of silver, tin and copper, forming a compound that contains no free mercury. "Anti-amalgam activists say mercury is soaked into metal powder, like water into a sponge, and can come back out of the fillings, but that's not at all true," Dr. Mackert says. In fact, the evaporation rate of mercury from amalgam is a million times lower than from pure mercury.

Anti-amalgam activists also say dental mercury pollutes the environment. However, dental mercury accounts for less than a quarter of a percent of mercury re-entering the environment.

Dr. Mackert presented an overview of amalgam, its controversy and its alternatives today at the 87th General Session of the International Association for Dental Research in Miami.

The amalgam controversy began in the 1970s. Awareness that dental fillings contained mercury was heightened and people were concerned by a couple of mercury-related health scares. In Japan, the release of methyl mercury into industrial wastewater caused a mercury buildup in shellfish and fish, leading to severe mercury poisoning and Minamata disease. Also, a grain covered in mercury fungicide was baked into bread and consumed in Iraq, killing hundreds. "Mercury poisoning was on people's minds and in the press," he says.

Urban legends abounded, including erroneous reports linking vapors from amalgam fillings to kidney damage and degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease. The only documented health effects of amalgam fillings are rare allergic reactions, Dr. Mackert says, but the controversy led many people to have their fillings removed in the misguided hope of curing neurological diseases.

That controversy continues today. "It's mystifying that people persist in saying there is cause for concern with amalgam fillings when there's no evidence that they cause adverse health effects," Dr. Mackert says.

He also disputes claims that ulterior motives have influenced the American Dental Association position attesting to the safety and effectiveness of amalgam fillings. Anti-amalgam activists link the position to patent interests, but the association had only two amalgam patents, now expired, and neither was licensed, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Most of the association's 78 patents are for white filling materials, including composite resin, an alternative to amalgam.

But composite fillings have their own problems. They cost more than amalgam and often are not covered by insurance. Numerous studies have shown that amalgam significantly outlasts composite, while composite causes more secondary cavities and may contribute to plaque formation, Dr. Mackert says.

"The bottom line is people don't need to be concerned with adverse health effects from any type of fillings amalgam or composites," Dr. Mackert says. Since beginning his studies of amalgam in the early 1980s, his position has never changed. In fact, he has amalgam fillings himself.


'/>"/>

Contact: Paula Hinely
phinely@mcg.edu
706-721-3646
Medical College of Georgia
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. ADA Comments on FDAs Settlement of Dental Amalgam Lawsuit
2. Amalgam Fillings Dont Affect Childrens Brain Development, Says Study in ADA Journal
3. Amalgam fillings dont affect childrens brain development, says study in ADA Journal
4. Materials expert denounces Norwegian ban on dental amalgam
5. Banning Amalgam Could Increase U.S. Dental Costs by $8 Billion a Year
6. Durability of dental fillings improves if the enzyme activity of teeth is inhibited
7. US FDA Admits Risks of Mercury Dental Fillings, Settles Lawsuit
8. A Patients Right to Know: Silver Fillings are 50% Mercury
9. Most comprehensive study of mercury in dental fillings begins
10. Drug-eluting stents found safe, superior to bare metal stents
11. Exercise is safe, improves outcomes for patients with heart failure
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Amalgam fillings are safe, but skeptics still claim controversy, researcher says
(Date:2/13/2016)... Memphis, Tennessee (PRWEB) , ... February 13, 2016 ... ... Louise Herrington School of Nursing with an in-kind gift of a VeinViewer® Vision ... help students as they learn how to start an IV and draw blood, ...
(Date:2/13/2016)... ... 2016 , ... DDi , a Makro company, makes ... its expertise in eClinical Solutions. DDi has built its solution competency with a ... global clients. DDi provides smarter technology for Clinical Development, Regulatory and Enterprise domains ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... February 12, 2016 , ... The law firm of Morrow, ... Parishes. The purpose of these scholarships is to encourage applicants to pursue a ... seek employment within these two parishes. , “We have available jobs in St. ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... ... ... CDRH Enforcement Trends: , Back to the Future , Feb. 25, 2016 — 11:00 a.m. ... “Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” , An analysis of ... year. But that takes time. , Take a close look at the warning letters ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... February 12, 2016 , ... As a ... hectic schedule, a demanding job, and no time to decompress, Rabinowitz found herself drawn ... herself to meditation for its impact on her life, implementing a 20-minute-per-day meditation practice ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:2/12/2016)... , Feb. 12, 2016  Diplomat Pharmacy, Inc. (NYSE: DPLO ) is pleased to ... Account Management and Payor Strategies effective Jan. 23, 2016. ... ... ... Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... Inc., a medical device company that pioneered the use of the ... device indicated for fusion for certain disorders of the sacroiliac (SI) ... Contractor (MAC) covering the states of Connecticut , ... Massachusetts , Minnesota , ... Rhode Island , Vermont and ...
(Date:2/12/2016)... and SEOUL, South Korea ... Menarini and Macrogen, Inc. today announced they will ... innovative procedures for precision medicine in cancer. The ... Biosystems, DEPArray™ digital-sorting technology with Macrogen,s high-throughput Next ... certified under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: