FDA: Recommends dentists in Berkeley, CA (and elsewhere) stop the use of dental amalgam in 9 high-risk groups
Transcendentist in Berkeley, CA has always “transcended” the “conventional”; for instance, due to our fresh, whole-health approach to dentistry, Drs Praj Kamat and Ruhi Sangha do not place amalgam fillings made from a combination of metallic substances, including a known toxin: mercury. Now, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is issuing recommendations on the use of dental amalgam among certain “high-risk” populations.
The new FDA guidelines
In an advisory issued on its FDA.gov website, the agency recommends that nine groups have their cavities treated with non-mercury-containing fillings. As noted, the fillings that they recommend instead are made from toothlike composite resins or non-metal glass ionomers. They refer to the following populations as among those who are greater risk of developing side effects due to mercury exposure from silver-colored, amalgam fillings:
- Pregnant women
- Unborn babies
- Mothers who are breast-feeding
- Breastfed babies and infants
- Any woman who is trying to get pregnant
- Kids (aged 5 and younger)
- Patients with neurological conditions
- Individuals who have kidney problems
- Patients who have known sensitivities or allergies to mercury (and other metals in dental amalgams)
The FDA is reportedly issuing these new guidelines based on its evaluation of scientific literature and research collected over more than 20 years. They cited the potential for serious health consequences among those who have a diminished ability to naturally remove mercury from their bodies, and those individuals with sensitivities to this toxin. They also acknowledged that removal of amalgams may temporarily increase the patient’s, dentist’s, staff members’, and environmental exposure to mercury. During the standard removal process, mercury is released at a higher rate as vapors. We at Transcendentist support an eco-friendly, healthy, and safe approach to removing amalgam fillings. This approach is in addition to our fundamental practice of only placing materials that are biocompatible (compatible with biological or living tissues).
Any time the mercury is altered in some way, be it during placement or removal of fillings, or when grinding or brushing teeth, the level of exposure increases. While some of the absorbed mercury is eliminated by the body, the FDA notes, some amount is left behind. It can then travel to tissues and organs via the bloodstream. Unborn children are at heightened risk as the mercury can reach fetuses through the blood that travels to the umbilical cord.
The FDA acknowledges that fetuses, babies, young children, and the other groups listed here are at risk of serious health effects due to long-term exposure to mercury, including:
- Depressed, anxious, unstable, and irritable moods
- Insomnia; poor sleep quality
- Lack of energy
- Impaired memory
- Poor coordination
- Vision problems
- Hearing impairment
- Lack of coordination and muscle control
- Impaired kidney function
We at Transcendentist have had the privilege of transforming patients’ smiles and lives for the better through our advanced, safe, and biocompatible techniques and products. This approach supports a lifetime of healthy smiles and well-being. We encourage you to bring your questions or concerns to us. Schedule an appointment today with Drs Kamat or Sangha. We look forward to hearing from you!