Friday, June 6, 2008

Mercury Fillings Pose Risk to Pregnant Women

AOL News posted an article about how mercury fillings pose "health problems in pregnant women, children and fetuses according to the Food and Drug Administration after settling a related lawsuit."

*Finally* the FDA addresses this topic of mercury and the potential health risks.

Although I do not believe mercury is the cause of illnesses like some people do, I resent the ADA's (American Dental Association) support for amalgam (silver fillings) and how it perpetuates its use.

Amalgam is an antiquated material that breaks teeth when the mercury expands and contracts with temperature changes. It also stains teeth.

A technology from the Civil War era, amalgam handles very well in restoring many severely broken teeth, and it is cost effective, but many other *modern* materials exist that the ADA should support as vehemently.

Because of the ADA and its position, some dentists will not look at the advances in technology and materials; what they fail to realize is that amalgam fillings are an inferior treatment when compared to resin and tooth conserving porcelain restorations.

All the arguments for amalgam other than it is economic, are easily shot down with facts that support the other restorations and their ability to restore teeth soundly.

Perhaps if the dental school faculty themselves would learn to do composites properly, instead of bad mouthing them, they could teach the dental students 21st- century dentistry and the cycle would begin to break.

The ADA spends energy and money in defending the use of amalgam. Perhaps they could refocus their efforts on educating the public on the importance of regular dental appointments to check for oral cancer and periodontal health which is linked to heart disease and many other systemic diseases such as diabetes.

It also appears the insurance companies have their hand in this as they want to pay on the lowest reimbursed treatments -- which of course include amalgam. They do not want amalgam banned as it will cost them billions. Of course they want to pay out on a mercury-based fillings at compensation levels that have not increased that much from last century.

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