Silver Amalgam Use Now the Focus of a United Nations Treaty

Silver Amalgam Use Now the Focus of a United Nations is reporting that a United Nations global mercury treaty on mercury pollution may become reality and America’s dentists could be subjected to an international ban on filling cavities with “silver amalgam” containing mercury.

The next round of “mercury talks” is scheduled for Monday in Kenya and State Department officials reportedly said they hope to garner support for a legally-binding treaty to reduce worldwide mercury emissions.

Dr. David Simone, a dental surgeon from Northbrook, Ill., who attended the State Department meeting, told that State Department officials reiterated that amalgam fillings will likely remain on the U.N.’s designated list of products to eventually be phased down with passage of the so-called global mercury treaty.

There is a controversial ongoing argument among dental health professionals about the possible health risks associated with mercury exposure from amalgam fillings, and competing sides disagree on whether the amount of mercury in fillings causes risks.

The ADA supports the position that dental amalgam is safe and posts the following statement on its website –

Dental amalgam is considered a safe, affordable and durable material that has been used to restore the teeth of more than 100 million Americans. It contains a mixture of metals such as silver, copper and tin, in addition to mercury, which binds these components into a hard, stable and safe substance. Dental amalgam has been studied and reviewed extensively, and has established a record of safety and effectiveness.

The FDI World Dental Federation and the World Health Organization concluded in a 1997 consensus statement: “No controlled studies have been published demonstrating systemic adverse effects from amalgam restorations.” Another conclusion of the report stated that, aside from rare instances of local side effects of allergic reactions, “the small amount of mercury released from amalgam restorations, especially during placement and removal, has not been shown to cause any … adverse health effects.”

In 1998 the ADA’s Council on Scientific Affairs published its first major review of the scientific literature on dental amalgam which concluded that “based on available scientific information, amalgam continues to be a safe and effective restorative material.” The Council’s report also stated, “There currently appears to be no justification for discontinuing the use of dental amalgam.”

In an article published in the February 1999 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association, researchers report finding “no significant association of Alzheimer’s Disease with the number, surface area or history of having dental amalgam restorations” and “no statistically significant differences in brain mercury levels between subjects with Alzheimer’s Disease and control subjects.”

A 2003 paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine states, “Patients who have questions about the potential relation between mercury and degenerative diseases can be assured that the available evidence shows no connection.” [Read more …]

Robert Ferguson, founder and president of the Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI), told that he sees the controversy surrounding dental amalgam as little more than the latest scare to drive more regulation.

What are your thoughts on the use of silver amalgam in dental treatments?

For more on this story see U.S. Weighs Support for U.N. Treaty That Could Force Dentists to Change Materials Used in Fillings.

Watch for more on this subject in the November issue of Academy of General Dentistry in a feature article by Eric K. Curtis, DDS, MA, MAGD titled, Black and White with Shades of Gray Ruminations on Amalgams in a World of Composites.

Dentists Quitting ADA Due to Political Differences

ADA and dentists' opinionsIn this survey, we asked dentists if political disagreements or other differences of opinion had caused them to quite the ADA or their local dental association. One quarter of dentists (26%) report that they have quit the ADA or another organization.

General dentists were twice as likely as specialists to have quite the ADA (28% as compared to 14%). However, two thirds of both groups say they are card-carrying members of the ADA.

“I have thought of quitting several times over the past 35 years,” wrote one dentist. “The arrogance of ADA leadership is often hard for me to live with. All of the time and money spent on the ADA headquarters building in Chicago, and yet no meaningful results in the area of universal licensure, is beyond outrageous.”

What else did dentists have to say? Here’s a sampling…

  • “The best money you can invest in OUR profession. Non-members get nearly all the benefits without having to pay, I consider part of my dues a hand-out to those poor souls. Hopefully their electric company, phone company and dental suppliers are providing them something for nothing too.” (Tennessee dentist)
  • “The ADA is a self-serving, Old School, good-old boys-network that has done NOTHING to educate the public of modern advances in dentistry, which is why I quit many years ago.” (North Carolina dentist)
  • “It’s a lot of money for just a magazine subscription.” (Virginia dentist)
  • “Without ADA advocacy efforts, dentistry would be in the same sad shape as medicine.” (Ohio dentist)
  • “In California you are pretty much forced to join to get the insurance benefits. Otherwise I would quit.” (California dentist)
  • “Why would anyone not be a member? The ADA is the voice of dentistry in all political arenas. We can do more collectively than we can individually.” (Kentucky dentist)
  • “I quit my local society. They wanted to use our dues for booze, and only supported hygiene scholarships in their county, and not mine.” (General dentist)

Read more: One in Four Dentists Reject ADA Membership

How Dentists Feel About Dental Peer Reviews (video)

How Dentists Feel About Dental Peer Reviews (video)When there is a conflict between dentist and patient, peer-review boards often mediate the dispute.

This means that dentists frequently end up on the losing side of the peer review equation.

Said one dentist, “Review boards are not impartial and fair, just interested in giving money back to patients.”

One endodontist professed, “It’s far better that getting involved in the judicial system!”

These are just two of the comments dentists offered The Wealthy Dentist when surveyed about the dental peer-review process.

Click on Play to hear more from dentists on how they answered the survey question: Have you been disappointed by dental peer-review?

What are your thoughts on dental peer-reviews?

Are General Dentists Alienated from the ADA? (Video)

In this survey, we asked: Is the American Dental Association dominated by specialists who are trying to promote their own agendas and not necessarily the welfare of the general dentist?

Nearly two-thirds of respondents said, “Yes! Specialists and their associations are using the ADA so they can make more money – at the expense of general dentists, of course.”

Read more:

General Dentists Wonder if ADA Represents Them (video)

ADA: general dentists feel it's dominated by dental specialistsWe asked dentists if the American Dental Association (ADA) is dominated by specialists who are trying to promote their own agendas and not necessarily the welfare of the general dentist.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents said, “Yes! Specialists and their associations are using the ADA so they can make more money – at the expense of general dentists, of course.”

A number of general dentists are still upset with the ADA over the organization’s stance on sedation dentistry.

Read more:


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