Thursday, July 17, 2008

The ADA Needs New Thinking With Regard To Amalgam Fillings

In an blog post, Tammy Davenport writes about the current stand-off between the ADA and the FDA regarding "silver" or amalgam fillings.

Silver fillings incorporate mercury, a toxic substance.

The amalgam issue gets me hot under the collar as some idiot dentists act like they are losing a best friend with amalgam. Their argument is lame.

Insurance companies want amalgam because it's cheap. Amalgam is a Civil War-era material. What else in medicine do we use from the 1800's? Nothing, as far as I know. That's why we have medical advances -- so we can offer patients new treatments that improve lives.

The alternative to mercury fillings is composite fillings, which are also called “tooth colored fillings,” or “bonded aesthetic fillings." Composites are technique-sensitive and are a much better alternative to amalgam fillings.

That's because composite fillings require less tooth to be removed during the procedure and once in place, strengthen the tooth, insulate better against hot and cold, and if they wear down, are easily repaired.

Refusing to give up amalgam fillings is akin to a surgeon saying, "All I'll do is amputate legs after a severe injury. Amputation is easy, and I do not want to learn microsurgery, which takes skill and is an investment."

If surgeons had that attitude there would be no advances in medicine.

And, I'm happy to state that in ten years of practice, I have not placed one amalgam filling. My patients are happy and the work they receive is superior -- since it's based on advanced training, modern medicine and new technologies.

No comments: