Research from different universities and even the World Health Organization (WHO) have made it very clear that mercury-based amalgam fillings are far more toxic, to people and to the environment, than alternatives like resin composites or porcelain restorations.
Most of the dental schools though still stay on very conservative side and teach amalgams as restoration of choice. However, one forward-thinking school – New York University College of Dentistry – has set the ball rolling by making some much-needed changes to their amalgam policy. Here what is faculty revealed in their letter to students:
– While amalgam will still be available, students must receive justification by faculty for placement.
-While students will still receive training in the use of amalgam, they will be taught to pay special attention to the indications and contraindications.
-Strict mercury hygiene when using amalgam will be maintained in both the clinic and preclinical settings.
They have changed the default restoration material to composite – NOT amalgam – a very large step in the right direction.
Modern materials like resin composites and glass ionomers have rendered amalgam completely unnecessary for any clinical situation. In fact, the mercury-free alternatives are so advanced that entire nations, such as the Scandinavian countries, have begun to favor them in lieu of amalgam altogether. It’s high time that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the dental schools in charge of educating young dentists start acknowledging these facts and get on the bandwagon to at least protect those most vulnerable to damage from mercury fillings — children and pregnant women.
About the Author:
Inna Shimanovsky, DMD and Aadvanced Dental is a 100% mercury-free general dental practice specializing in advanced cosmetic/reconstructive dentistry and extensive dental care services using the latest science and technology in a caring and pain free environment.