Dentists: Are You Tired of the Fluoridated Water Debate?

Dentists: Are You Tired of the Fluoridated Water Debate?Are you for or against fluoridated water?

Ever since the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced taking important steps to ensure that standards and guidelines on fluoride in drinking water continue to provide the maximum protection to the American public to support good dental health, the fluoridation of public water has been a hotly-debated news item.

The American Dental Association states that 67% of American communities have public fluoridated water systems.

Why does the debate continue when according to many reports no valid scientific study on fluoridation has ever shown any health risks? (see 1991 study)

Yet, the fluoridated water debate rages on this week in the news —

–Philomath Oregon residents will be deciding in their March 13 special election whether fluoride will be restored to the city’s water supply.

–The Pennsylvania American Water Works announced that it has reduced the level of fluoride in the drinking water supplied to its Philipsburg area customers.

–The New Jersey legislature is in the process of putting together a new law that would force mandatory fluoridation to public water systems across the entire state.

–Pinellas Park, Florida voted to provide fluoridation of the water to its citizens as soon as it can find funding to pay for the necessary equipment.

The California Dental Association Foundation cancelled its commitment to pay for the fluoridation facility for Watsonville, California, siting ballooning costs.

–In Bolivar Missouri, city leaders voted to stop adding fluoride to the city’s water supply.

–The fluoride issue is being hotly debated in Bozeman, Montana — even though Bozeman has been adding fluoride to its water since 1953.

–A Carroll County, Maryland water district operator began an anti-fluoride fight in her district.

Basically all water contains some amount of fluoride. When fluoride is added to the water supply it only reaches levels of approximately 1 part fluoride per million parts water; this is the optimal level for preventing tooth decay, this according to the National Cancer Institute.

Scientists at the National Cancer Institute evaluated the relationship between the fluoridation of drinking water and the number of deaths due to cancer in the United States during a 36-year period, and the relationship between water fluoridation and number of new cases of cancer during a 15-year period.

After examining more than 2.2 million cancer death records and 125,000 cancer case records in counties using fluoridated water, the researchers found no indication of increased cancer risk associated with fluoridated drinking water.

Studies by the ADA have stated that fluoridation has been the single most effective public health measure to prevent dental caries, yet groups like the Fluoride Action Network and The Light Party actively campaign against the use of fluoride in drinking water.

Even here at The Wealthy Dentist we’ve seen dentists argue on both sides of the fluoridation issue.  What are your thoughts on fluoridation?

Do you think the fluoride issue will ever be laid to rest?

Dentists Support Water Fluoridation (video)

Dentists Support Water Fluoridation (video)The Wealthy Dentist conducted a survey asking dentists if they are in favor of water fluoridation.

85% of the dentists who responded to the survey are in favor of fluoridation of drinking water.

Water fluoridation has become a hotly-debated topic in cities throughout the U.S. with Portland, Oregon, being the latest city to consider water fluoridation. Fluoridation is either considered a medical miracle or involuntary mass medication, depending on the dentist you ask.

Said one orthodontist in this survey, “There’s a reason fluoride was rated by one of the top 10 health policies of the 21st century.”

Whereas another dentist declared, “It is forced medication of questionable benefit, and its source is chemical waste from fertilizer processing plants…Yuck!”

To hear what dentists had to say about fluoride, Click on Play —

What are your thoughts on fluoride in drinking water?

Dentists Say Lead Is Dentistry’s Biggest Health Threat

Other Dental Health Concerns Include Mercury and Bisphenol-A

In this survey, we asked dentists how concerned they are about various potential public health threats linked to dentistry. Dentists’ concerns, in order, are:

General dentists versus specialists

  1. Lead in dental lab work
  2. Mercury in amalgam
  3. Bisphenol-A in composite, and
  4. Fluoride in water supplies.

General dentists had higher levels of concern on all issues than specialists. However, specialists and generalists agreed on the relative dangers of the chemicals covered in this survey.

Dentists’ thoughts

  • “I’d like to be doing all gold restorations.” (New Jersey dentist)
  • “All four of these need to be totally nailed down as to their safety, or lack thereof.” (Arkansas dentist)
  • “Two things that will bite dentistry in the butt are fluoride and amalgam if we don’t stop forcing them on the public.” (Idaho dentist)

Mercury

  • “150 years have not proved Amalgam to be dangerous.” (Arkansas dentist)
  • “Amalgams have saved billions of teeth!” (Washington dentist)
  • “A known toxin, no safe levels, should be banned.” (Louisiana dentist)

Lead

  • “Lead in dental casting alloy? Outrageous!” (Colorado dentist)
  • “Recent articles have debunked the worry over the amount of lead in ‘farmed-out’ crowns. Still, we need to monitor that work.” (California dentist)

Bisphenol-A (BPA)

  • “This stuff is everywhere. Composites without BPA just don’t hold up well.” (Wisconsin dentist)
  • “It’s probably not too dangerous, but don’t cast stones, Mr. Composite: you live in a glass house!” (New Jersey dentist)
  • “It’s ironic that many patients are removing long tested amalgam and replacing them with bisphenol composites of unproven safety.” (California dentist)

Fluoride

  • “It’s been shown to be effective, but we shouldn’t be medicating the whole population.” (Colorado dentist)
  • “The best public health measure ever instituted in this country for caries prevention.” (Texas dentist)
  • “Known to be toxic.” (California dentist)

Post your thoughts or read the complete dental public health threats survey results

Dentists: Most OK with Fluoridation

Fluoridated waterFluoridated water has historically been hailed by dentists as one of the greatest public health innovations of the 20th century. And while most doctors (73%) still support it, one dentist in four opposes adding fluoride to the public water supply.

“Tests show the current water supply & vegetables are saturated with the fluoride we already added,” said one concerned dentist.

Related article: Dentists Approve of Fluoridated Water: Survey Results

Here are some more comments on water fluoridation:

  • “I think people are beginning to get too much from all the food and drinks that are made with fluoridated water, but stopping it entirely does not make sense either. It seemed a straightforward problem at one time, but now is more complicated.” (Texas dentist)
  • “The greatest single caries prevention method for all age groups.” (Tennessee dentist)
  • “Why put a drug in our water supply when not everyone needs it. What is next? Cholesterol medication, antidepressants, vitamins, etc. The argument could be made for any one of these to be added to the water supply. I want clean pure water to drink and for my family to drink just like nature intended.” (Louisiana dentist)
  • “I practice in the city that was the control in the original study of water fluoridation. After five years, fluoride was added to the water because of the benefits that were seen. Individuals in the surrounding rural areas do not have fluoride except on a prescription basis. There is a huge difference in the decay rate of the two groups.” (Michigan dentist)
  • “The government has lied to us. They would have us all believe that the ‘fluoride’ that they put in the water is the same as the pure pharmaceutical grade fluoride that is in toothpaste. It’s not. The ‘fluoride’ in the water is contaminated with heavy metals and all kinds of other things.” (Arizona dentist)
  • “We end up with too much fluoride if the water is fluoridated because our food gets fertilized in it, washed in it, cooked in it. So the same vegetable or lettuce has 5 times as much as just drinking a glass of water. Topical treatment is fine. Let people choose; it shouldn’t be mandated by government.” (Florida dentist)
  • “Water fluoridation remains one of the single most cost-effective public health measures taken to reduce a disease, that being dental caries. The increase in dental fluorosis seems to have more to do with the increasingly early use of fluoride toothpaste in children that are not supervised while brushing and are too young to avoid swallowing the toothpaste while brushing.” (South Carolina dental hygienist)
  • “There are much better, more dose controlled ways to receive fluoride for those who may want it.” (Canada dentist)
  • “Any slight benefits (and these only come from topical application, not ingestion as the CDC has admitted) are far outweighed by its ability to do health harm. Fluoride is a lifelong-accumulative systemic poison whatever way you try to slice it.” (Texas journalist)

NOTE: This survey attracted a record number of votes from non-dentists, but only dentists’ votes were used to compile the quantitative results. Comments from non-dentists have been included in the discussion section.

Read more: Fluoride in Water: Dentists Disagree on What’s Best for Dental Health

Right or Wrong: San Jose California About to Fluoridate Drinking Water

Right or Wrong: San Jose California About To Fluoridate Drinking WaterThe largest city in U.S. without fluoride, San Jose, is about to add fluoride to their drinking water. The Santa Clara Valley Water District voted on November 15th to support fluoridation to most of the county.

The San Jose Mercury News is reporting that it will be at least a year before the water district can secure funding to add fluoride to the water. The fluoridation project is expected to cost anywhere from $4.4 million to $9.5 million, with annual operating expenses at $836,000.

A 1995 law prohibits water companies from passing fluoridation costs on to rate payers. So both the water district and San Jose Water Company must seek outside methods of providing the capital needed to build the infrastructure necessary to fluoridate the water.

Residents who are against the fluoridation project site fears of dental fluorosis, lowered IQ and raised cancer risks. But the National Cancer Institute supports a February 1991 Public Health Service report, where the agency found no evidence of an association between fluoride and cancer in humans. The report, based on a review of more than 50 human epidemiological (population) studies produced over the past 40 years, concluded that optimal fluoridation of drinking water “does not pose a detectable cancer risk to humans” as evidenced by extensive human epidemiological data reported to date.

Dentist Donald Lyman, of the California Department of Public Health tells The Washington Post, “When you fluoridate the water, childhood tooth decay drops 40 percent and among the elderly, tooth loss and decay drops 70 percent.”

The American Dental Association continues to endorse fluoridation of community water supplies as safe and effective for preventing tooth decay. This support has been the Association’s position since policy was first adopted in 1950. The ADA’s policies regarding community water fluoridation are based on the overwhelming weight of peer-reviewed, credible scientific evidence. The ADA, along with state and local dental societies, continues to work with federal, state and local agencies to increase the number of communities benefiting from water fluoridation. (From the ADA website)

New York City cosmetic dentist and Huffington Post contributor, Thomas P. Connelly, D.D.S. writes, In my years of being a dentist, I’ve found enough to make me feel that fluoride in the water just isn’t worth it. Even if some research is scoffed at, the question itself is enough to make me pause. Especially because I do feel we have enough education on oral health that everyone should be brushing their teeth. And trust me, if you are brushing like you should be (and your dentist is using a topical treatment every so often), then I feel you don’t need fluoride in your water. I’m not a fan of inserting a chemical into our water that most of us simply don’t need to help the few that won’t help themselves.”

What are your thoughts on the use of fluoridation in public water supplies? Leave us a comment or take our most recent survey on fluoridation here.

For more information see: Santa Clara Valley Water District Approves Adding Fluoride to Water in Spite of Objections.

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