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WHO Calls for 'Phase Down' of Dental Amalgam

By October 31, 2011 January 2nd, 2020 No Comments

A World Health Organization (WHO) committee this month called for a worldwide reduction in the use of dental amalgam to cut the flow of mercury into the natural environment.

“In an environmental perspective, it is desirable that the use of dental amalgam is reduced,” Poul Erik Petersen, DDS, DrOdontSci, responsible officer of the Global Oral Health Programme, toldMedscape Medical News…The report calls for research to improve filling materials and said the use of all dental filling materials should be reduced through measures that prevent caries. cosmetic dentist london  

The report drew praise from an antimercury activist group, World Alliance for Mercury-Free Dentistry london, which released a statement calling the report a “road map for the end of amalgam.” instant dental implant london.

However, a spokesman for the American Dental Association said it is not necessary to reduce the use of dental amalgam at all. “There is no reason per se to phase down amalgam,” Rodway Mackert, DMD, PhD, a professor of dentistry at Georgia Health Sciences University in Augusta, told Medscape Medical News. “The effect of doing that on the amount of mercury going into the environment is negligible.”

Dental caries are becoming an increasing problem in middle- and low-income countries … Already, dental amalgam is releasing “a significant amount” of mercury into the environment, the report found. This pollution results from amalgam made for dental use but diverted to other purposes, from poor disposal practices, and from cremation, the report said.

It laid out “best management practices,” including bulk mercury collection, chair-side traps, amalgam separators, vacuum collection, recycling, and commercial waste disposal to prevent mercury from being released into the environment. It cited a US Environmental Protection Agency estimate that 3.7 tons of mercury are discharged into the environment from US dental practices each year… The WHO report considered the merits of amalgam vs other restorative materials. cosmetic dentist london . It cites a study finding that the repair rate for composite resin restorations was 7 times greater than for amalgams in posterior primary and permanent teeth.

On the hotly contested issue of toxic effects from amalgam, the report quoted a study by the Norwegian Dental Biomaterials Adverse Reaction Unit, finding that “the majority of side-effects of dental filling materials are linked with dental amalgam.” Most of these are skin reactions and pain occurring within a week after treatment.

The report noted that amalgam surfaces release mercury vapor into the mouth and lungs, but stopped short of attributing any health effects to this phenomenon…read more

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