Dental Materials Safety Concerns (video)

Dental materials safety: who's responsible?The safety of dental materials has been in the news due to concerns about BPA in sealants and composite and reports of dental crowns manufactured in foreign dental labs that may be contaminated with lead.

So we asked dentists who should be responsible for the safety of dental products. One third said the FDA, one quarter said dental labs should police themselves, and 41% said dentists should take responsibility.

“My local lab is placing ‘made in America’ on all of the return cases for the patients to see,” mentioned one dentist.

“Too many dentists are accommodating low dental insurance payment schedules by buying their dental materials and laboratory fabrications that are too cheap,” complained another. “It doesn’t seem to matter that it compromises the health of the patient.”

Read more: Lead found in dental crown from China: Dentist Survey Results

BPA & Dental Composite Safety (Survey Video)

Dental safety and BPAControversies about chemical safety are hardly new to dentistry. So it’s not surprising to find that dentistsare split down the middle in their opinions about the use of dental composite and sealants that contain bisphenol-A, or BPA as it’s commonly known.

In this survey, 46% said they had concerns about safety, while 54% are not particularly worried.

Jim Du Molin and Julie Frey discuss dentists’ thoughts on BPA safety:

“I’ve never had a patient even mention it, unlike the wackos who won’t let fluoride touch their kids’ lips,” offered a Michigan Dentist.

“I have some worries about safety,” said one General Dentist. “To temper this, you’ve got to remember that ANYTHING in the body outside of what is indigenous is considered foreign and has potential to elicit yet another of those unexpected side effects, sort of like most of Congress’ laws. Since I stopped doing sealants years and years ago, I am less concerned about the effect on most adults.”

“Are any of my patients worried about BPA? They should be!” exclaimed an Orthodontist. “My kids will never have sealants. Sealants are BS. Another way the insurance companies dictate how a dentist can make money: by compromising morals, yet again.”

It’s worthwhile to bring up safety concerns about Bisphenol-A in dental sealants and fillings. Unfortunately, the science isn’t particularly clear.

We still don’t have definitive scientific evidence that everyone agrees on when it comes to mercury, or even fluoride. So don’t expect the BPA controversy to be resolved anytime soon.

Read more about the dental survey here.

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Dentists Not Concerned About Chemicals Used in Dentistry

Dentists Not Concerned About Chemicals Used in Dentistry“Not particularly worried” is the most popular response for concerns about the chemicals in dentistry among dentists, according to a new The Wealthy Dentist survey, but the results are pretty evenly split.

The online survey asked dentists from the U.S. and Canada if they are concerned about the safety of dental composite and sealants.

54% were not worried, while 46% had concerns about safety.

Here’s how the dentists responded —

  • 21% – Definitely yes! I am very concerned about this issue.
  • 25% – Somewhat. I have some worries about safety.
  • 38% – Not really. I’m interested, but not particularly worried.
  • 16% – Definitely not! I’m not worried at all.

Chemicals Used in Dentistry Survey Results Graph

“It’s about the same argument as the amalgam and mercury issue. I don’t see that the literature to date points in any direction toward concern about BPA!” a Mississippi dentist said.

BPA in tooth fillings has been in the news recently due to a study linking the chemical to behavioral problems in children.

According to Dr. John Reitz of Reading Eagle Press, “When dental manufacturers became aware of the health risk of BPA they made a conscious effort at eliminating or at least limiting the amount in dental products. According to research by the American Dental Association, BPA is rarely used today as an ingredient in dental products.”

Most of the dentists who responded to this survey agree that there are minimal risks from dental chemicals.

Here’s what many dentists had to say on the subject —

“We need more long-term studies.” (New Jersey dentist)

“To temper this, we have to remember that ANYTHING in the body outside of what is indigenous is considered foreign and has potential to elicit yet another of those unexpected side effects, sort of like most of Congress’ laws. Since I stopped doing sealants years and years ago, I am less concerned about the effect on most adults.” (General dentist)

“Amalgam is on its way out. Let the chemist reformulate BPA-free dental products!” (Alabama dentist)

“I didn’t know that I need to be concerned…” (California dentist)

“No patients have shown any worry. I do feel extensive research should be conducted.” (Mississippi dentist)

“Yes – patients ask about it! But I understand there are different kinds…some more damaging than others.” (Michigan dentist)

“I’ve never had a patient even mention it, unlike the ‘wackos’ who won’t let fluoride touch their kids lips…” (General dentist)

“None of our patients have mentioned it, yet. But, I won’t be surprised if or when they do in the future. I’m personally concerned about BPA in composites. I certainly didn’t want it in the plastic baby bottles my child used, so why would I want it in composite resin dental restorations? Dentistry certainly needs to have BPA free restorative materials.” (Ohio dentist)

“Parents are now asking me about our materials and if they contain BPAs.” (Pediatric dentist)

The ADA Council on Scientific Affairs has not identified evidence to suggest that the use of resin-based dental sealants or composite resin restorative materials is linked to adverse health effects from BPA exposure. (Source: ADA)

Dentists, what are your thoughts on chemicals used in dentistry?

Dentists: BPA is Back Making Front Page Dental News Again

BPA in Children is Making Front Page Dental NewsBisphenol A (also known as BPA), a chemical used in lightweight plastics, dental sealants and dental fillings is back making news headlines once again.

First, the federal government announced this month that baby bottles and sippy cups can no longer contain BPA.

This was followed by reports from a new study stating that children getting dental fillings made with BPA are more likely to have behavior and emotional problems later in life.

The study, as reported in Pediatrics Online, “makes a strong case that in the short-term, use of BPA-containing dental materials should be minimized,” asserts Philip Landrigan, director of the Children’s Environmental Health Center at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City.

The researchers in the study tracked 534 children with cavities from when each child received their first dental fillings. Over the following 5 years, the researchers noted that those children who had cavities filled with a composite material containing traces of BPA consistently scored 2 – 6 points less on 100-point behavior assessments than those who didn’t have fillings.

As reported in Science News, the researchers never administered clinical diagnostic behavioral tests to the children.

Instead, they periodically administered some widely used checklists to the children or their parents, allowing each to self-assess features such as a child’s attitudes toward teachers or others, depression, self-esteem, attention problems, delinquent behaviors, acting-out or problems with attentiveness.

Since the children were 6-12 years old at the time, these type of behaviors are not uncommon for children living with a variety of circumstances like divorce, bullying, and problems at home.

However researchers argue that the behavior problems being reported seemed to happen more with the children who had BPA fillings, causing them to believe that some dental fillings may start to break down over time, thus exposing these children to the chemical.

The U.S. government is currently spending $30 million on its own BPA research to determine the chemical’s health effects on humans.

As a dentist, what are your thoughts on the use of BPA?

For more on this story see: Putting BPA-based Dental Fillings in Perspective 

What Dentists Think About Dental Chemicals (video)

What Dentists Think About Dental Chemicals (video)With the FDA’s decision that baby bottles and sippy cups can no longer contain Bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical that has endocrine-disrupting, estrogenic properties, attention is once again being directed at dental materials.

Fluoride, amalgam, and BPA are three chemicals that can be highly toxic, or highly helpful to dental health.

The scientific evidence isn’t clear.

Dentists use a number of chemical products in their dental practices and The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey asking doctors how concerned they are about potential public health risks linked to chemicals in dentistry.

Sighed one dentist, “I find it ironic that some patients don’t want ‘artificial chemicals’ in their mouth and decline the natural elements in amalgam in favor of the complex chemistry of composites.”

To hear more of what dentists had to say about the subject of chemicals in dentistry, Click on Play on the following dental survey video:

What are your thoughts on the chemicals used in oral health?

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