According to the FDA, clinical studies in adults and children ages 6 and above have found no link between dental amalgam fillings and health problems.
The Wealthy Dentist decided to survey dentists to find out their thoughts on this subject, and if they are still using amalgam.
40% of the dentists who responded are still placing amalgam. Another 27% place amalgam in only special circumstances, while 33% do not use amalgam at all.
What is even more interesting are the comments we received —
“It’s still an excellent restorative material that has a proven track record. I don’t understand what the big hoopla is about banning it entirely. Health concerns? Unproven. Mercury in environment? Don’t blame the dentists.” (New York dentist)
“A much maligned, but excellent restorative material that in some, but not all instances is superior to composite, depending on the situation.” (Ohio dentist)
“The greatest posterior restoration ever!” (General dentist)
“In children’s primary teeth, they will last and not re-decay until they lose them. In the elderly, they are resistant to root decay and will last when crowns are not in their budget. I would grieve if I could not use this material.” (Texas dentist)
“They are the most technically forgiving, economical workable restorative still.” (New York dentist)
“There is nothing wrong with amalgam restorations — they are efficient and cost effective for the patient!” (Oklahoma dentist)
“It’s still a wonderful filling material posteriorly, and affordable for most dental patients.” (Suburban dentist)
“They last much longer, less sensitivity and there is no credible evidence they have killed anyone. Remember composites contain Bis-Phenol and I still place many more composites, GI’s, then amalgams. Because of their proven longevity, it is unethical to not offer amalgam to your dental patients.” (California dentist)
“I still love amalgams. I am also tired of all the amalgam-bashing. I believe most of it is profit-driven. I had great gold and amalgams placed years ago in my mouth. No one ever notices. I realize people think composite looks nice but who sees these restorations?” (California dentist)
“I haven’t placed an amalgam in 30 years. I quit because I couldn’t think of a benefit that outweighed the risks!” (Texas dentist)
“The material should be banned!“ (Kentucky dentist)
“Do the research. Mercury, even in small amounts, is ultra-toxic — probably the most toxic heavy metal to which people are routinely exposed.” (Ohio dentist)
“I have not placed an amalgam since 1986!” (Massachusetts dentist)
“I haven’t place an amalgam since Reagan was President…you have got to be kidding!“ (General dentist)
“My biggest concern is with the fact that amalgam imbibes moisture for the first 24 hours after placement and swells internally within the tooth, creating crazes and cracks, ultimately leading to fracture of the tooth (see article by Drs. Assif, Marshak, and Pilo in the JPD 1990). After reading the article, I photographed 50 consecutive teeth on which I had just removed amalgam restorations. The number of teeth with cracks or crazes: 50.” (Massachusetts prosthodontist)
“Haven’t placed them in 30 years. Any doctor who doesn’t know mercury is a poison should have his degree cancelled!“ (Florida dentist)
This issue is still one of the most contentious in dentistry for the last 30 years. Recently Dr. Mercola, a well-known health care advocate, interviewed Charlie Brown a leader in the mercury-free dentistry movement.
Here is the interview –
Your comments both pro and con are appreciated.