Posted tagged ‘silver’

….the amalgam controversy…con’t…

October 29, 2009
HR 648….Go ahead, and make my day….

Your Smile Should Last Forever

Representative Diane Watson (D-Ca) did it again. The bill advances the misconception that silver amalgam, which contains mercury, is toxic. It isn’t, because the mercury is bound, chemically, to the silver. The bill specifically misstates the facts. And unless you heat the filling–like in a crematorium–you can’t get the mercury back out. The resolution, which has no active action, essentially condemns the use of dental amalgam, claiming that these dental fillings cause just about every problem under the sun. This debate–that your silver fillings will cause all sorts of problems– is over 30 years old. The only problem is that the evidence says the fillings are safe, effective, and cheaper than just about every other material used in dentistry. Silver filling use in dentistry has been on the decline for the last 25 years, and is currently being replaced by resin fillings. So the amalgam debate is mostly a moot point. The rise of esthetic dentistry–fillings that are the same color as your teeth–has had the effect of quieting much of the banter from the “anti-amalgamists”. But there’s still a lot of silver filling out there.  This bill, if passed, will add fire to the fear that some patients develop, running to their dentists asking for the silver to be removed for fear of health problems. I find it curious that the dental profession, which has everything to gain by creating fear concerning silver amalgam fillings, has consistently defended amalgam, and avoided the financial windfall that would be associated with everyone wanting their silver fillings removed en mass.  When ever a patient tries to make the point that dentists “love” amalgam, I always say, “Go ahead, make it illegal and you make my day, financially.  It’s my conscience that prevents me from jumping in and promoting the fear.  And I’m far from alone.   It really is dentistry’s finest hour.

Dr. Giacopuzzi