Los Angeles, CA (PressExposure) August 10, 2009 -- Amalgam is one of the many materials used today for dental restorations. Although it is largely replaced now with other materials such as porcelain and composite resins, there is still a number of dental clinics that provide amalgam as their main material for restoration purposes. Aside from the introduction of more aesthetically improved materials, there are also other reasons as to why amalgam use declined over the years. Some critics have claimed that the use of amalgam poses risk not only to the patient, but also to the dentist that uses the material.
Controversy of the use of Amalgam
The controversy pertaining to the use of amalgam centers on the health effects of toxicity or allergy which may be associated with constant mercury exposure, particularly as a potential cause of chronic illnesses, autoimmune disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, birth defects, oral lesions, and mental disorders. Scientists agree that dental amalgam fillings leach mercury into the mouth, but different studies have concluded otherwise.
According to the dentist beverly hills [http://www.alhambradental.com/blog], in 2002, the Food and Drug Administration issued a statement on dental amalgam which asserted that "no valid scientific evidence has shown that amalgams cause harm to patients with dental restorations, except in the rare case of allergy". This, however, was contradicted with other studies made from earlier years.
A 1991-1997 study of 3162 patients in Sweden and Germany found that 719 of those with mercury fillings, or 23 percent, tested positive for systemic allergic sensitivity to inorganic mercury on the MELISA lymphocyte proliferation test. In a smaller group of 85 patients who suffered from symptoms resembling Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and had their amalgams replaced with composites and metal-free ceramics, "over 78 percent reported improvement in health status as compared to the period prior to metal removal."
In 2001, the United States National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey of 31,000 adult Americans found that the number of dental fillings was significantly correlated to incidence of cancer, thyroid conditions, mental conditions, diseases of the nervous system including MS, diseases of the respiratory and genito-urinary systems, and disorders of the eye, circulatory and respiratory systems. According to the dentist beverly hills [http://www.alhambradental.com/blog], at the time of the survey, the vast majority of dental fillings placed were silver amalgam. However, the United States FDA, various supreme court judges and others have determined that correlation does not sufficiently demonstrate causation.
Health effects for dentists
There has been no evidence that dentists who are exposed to dental amalgam and vapor on a daily basis get any mercury poisoning. However, some studies have indicated that mercury from dental amalgam has mild affects on some dentists. Dentists in several large-scale studies performed multiple cognitive and behavioural tests and, compared to a normal population, lagged behind in many areas. In one study this included 14% worse scores in memory, coordination, motor speed and concentration.
The study did not demonstrate any link between mercury exposure and these lagging scores, however. According to the dentist beverly hills [http://www.alhambradental.com/blog], a newer study also found a link between cognitive impairment (including mood) and dental work, even though "exposure among these dental personnel are not much greater than exposures to the general population through the dental amalgam in their fillings" as shown by urinary studies. Twelve of 13 symptoms were correlated with greater mercury exposure.